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articulating as powerfully as any Labour minister since 1997 the case for Europe and the dangers of the Conservatives' outdated isolationism.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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University Edible Garden, Leeds – a sustainable garden in the centre of the university, passers-by can help themselves to the home-grown produce
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High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
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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
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail