News A defiant George Osborne during Treasury Questions in the House of Commons

George Osborne refused to rule out a cut in the top rate of tax from 45p to 40p today as the Conservatives and Labour clashed over the economy.

Taxing times: The politics of Ed Balls’s pledge to reintroduce the 50p rate may be sound. But the economics are not

The 50p rate simply does not bring in enough money to justify its own existence

Thai anti-government protesters march as part of their ongoing rallies in downtown Bangkok

Thailand declares state of emergency in bid to quell Bangkok protests

Bangkok and its surrounding provinces will be subject to the decree for 60 days

Ursula von der Leyen, Politician

Page 3 Profile: Ursula von der Leyen, Politician

Another female German politician?

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has said he isn't 'playing a jammie dodger' over his department's biscuit budget

Eric Pickles: ‘I didn’t spend £10,000 extra on biscuits’

Tory MP defends his department’s refreshments record

Paul Flowers was questioned my MPs over the Co-operative Bank's losses on 6 November

PMQs review: High on Flowers power, David Cameron wipes the floor with Ed

Every one of Miliband’s six questions was cut off at the knees

Jeremy Hunt has said that there is a 'clear link' between the healthcare watchdog's failure to report and pressure from Mr Burnham's department in 2009

Jeremy Hunt stands firm after Andy Burnham issues legal threat over NHS 'cover up' row

The opposition party says the Health Secretary has engaged in a baseless smear campaign against shadow minister Andy Burnham

Identity of blue-chip hackers will stay secret for a month

The names on the list reportedly include the accountants Deloitte and Simon Cowell

Downing Street denied any security breach after Prime Minister David Cameron left his official ministerial box on a train table while he was travelling to a wedding

David Cameron accused of leaving confidential ministerial red box - with key in lock - on a train wile visiting buffet car

A fellow passenger took a photo of the well-worn red box - with the key in the lock - while the PM was reportedly in the buffet car

US jobs disappointment cuts chances of Fed easing stimulus

The US economy created fewer jobs than forecast in August, dampening expectations that the Federal Reserve will start weaning the US economy off its stimulus programme this month.

Egypt: Police arrest Muslim Brotherhood chiefs Mohammed el-Beltagy and Khaled Al-Azhari

Egyptian police have arrested two top Muslim Brotherhood figures, including an outspoken former politician who has made public appeals for protests against the new military-backed government.

Tony Abbott with his Liberal Party candidate, Fiona Scott

Vote for woman with sex appeal, says Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott

Liberal leader lives up to his reputation for sexism during poll campaign

Jobs growth in the US slows

Employers across the US hired fewer than expected people last month, according to new figures that showed a slow, if steady, recovery in the labour market that is likely to factor heavily in the Federal Reserve's calculations as it considers rolling back its stimulus measures.

The former minerals minister, Ian Macdonald, allegedly passed on inside information

A multi-million-dollar mining licence, a murder suspect and a prostitute called Tiffanie: Australia rocked by inquiry into ex-ministers

Two former New South Wales Labor Party ministers facing potential criminal charges and long jail sentences

Former Labour minister Denis MacShane charged over false expenses claims for almost £13,000

Former minister is accused of faking receipts totalling £12,900

Ed Miliband faced Conservative claims of 'hypocrisy'

Tories brand Ed Miliband a 'hypocrite' over Labour donor's tax avoidance

Party helped John Mills avoid tax of up to £1.5m by accepting a £1.65m donation in the form of shares in his JML shopping channel company rather than cash

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam