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.

Alarm as US employers shed 85,000 jobs

US employers unexpectedly shed 85,000 jobs in December, leaving unemployment running at 10 per cent, according to the latest statistics from the Labor Department in Washington DC.

Conservatives step up battle with Labour over class

The Tories reignited the "class war" political skirmishes last night by claiming that more than 4 million overwhelmingly middle-class people are now liable for inheritance tax after their death.

80 MPs join revolt against ruling to repay expense claims

Scale of rebellion means controversy will drag on until close to election day

Richard Ingrams’s Week: Why are so many deniers of climate change on the right?

"Never write about any matter that you do not well understand" – advice to us journalists once given by one of the very greatest, William Cobbett. In my many years as a newspaper columnist I have tried (perhaps not always successfully) to bear it in mind.

Sharp rise in US unemployment figures

Unemployment in the US hit 15.7m last month, its highest rate since April 1983, Government data showed yesterday.

BP fights record $87m fine for safety breaches

Texas City refinery still hazardous for workers, says US government watchdog / But oil giant launches an immediate appeal against 'disappointing' ruling

Steve Richards: Europe is a tempting opportunity

David Miliband has come to life. During his speech to Labour's conference last month he made a bold defence of the European Union and launched an uncharacteristically passionate onslaught against the Conservatives and their new allies in Europe. Yesterday he became even more vivacious on both fronts, articulating as powerfully as any Labour minister since 1997 the case for Europe and the dangers of the Conservatives' outdated isolationism. Occasionally Tony Blair delivered similar speeches, but only when he was out of Britain. On Europe Miliband is fired up and has decided to make the argument at home.

Police could quiz more politicians over fraudulent expenses says Scotland Yard chief

More politicians could come under police investigation over fraudulent expenses, the head of Scotland Yard said today.

No more cash for home furnishings, MPs told

Kelly report into expenses expected to consign 'John Lewis' list to history

Stephen Glover: Not biased, just too nice: Is Davis quite the right man for Today?

Twittering is a new political weapon. Once, if you did not like some aspect of the BBC, you would say so openly. Norman Tebbit attacked it for bias. So did Alastair Campbell. Last week Ben Bradshaw, the Culture Secretary, twittered his disapproval of the Today programme's allegedly soft interviews of leading Tories. He described Evan Davis's questioning of Michael Gove as "disgracefully feeble," and his grilling of George Osborne as "wholly feeble and biased".

Andrew Grice: Cameron is determined to win a mandate for cuts

Yesterday's package ensures a debate on real cuts. The phoney war about efficiency savings is over

Labour minister Barbara Follet to quit Westminster

East of England Minister Barbara Follett has announced she will be standing down at the next general election.

John Rentoul: Promises of more of the same won't do

Labour is avoiding the one thing that would give it a chance – changing its leader

Exec: Email is causing killer stress

A top business executive has blamed the massive volume of work-related emails, including on smartphones, for the stress on workers today.

FA bewildered by Sutcliffe's funding threat

The Football Association is bemused at a bizarre and heavy-handed attack on it by sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe whose threats to withdraw £25m of government funding would have a profound effect on grassroots football.

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Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
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Nigel Farage arrives for a hustings event at The Oddfellows Hall in Ramsgate on Tuesday
voicesA defection that shows who has the most to fear from the rise of Ukip
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
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Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
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The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
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Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
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Star turns: Montacute House
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
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The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution