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articulating as powerfully as any Labour minister since 1997 the case for Europe and the dangers of the Conservatives' outdated isolationism.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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Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London