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articulating as powerfully as any Labour minister since 1997 the case for Europe and the dangers of the Conservatives' outdated isolationism.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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent