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.

An election race that hinges on the state of America’s economy was dominated by the release of new employment figures yesterday which allowed both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to lay a final claim to the eagerly contested mantle of job-creator-in-chief

Payroll figures give Mitt Romney last chance to make his pitch

But mixed messages from vital figures also hand Barack Obama a way to defend his record

Ferdinand has the right to challenge Fergie's values

Ever since as an apprentice toolmaker he joined the Amalgamated Engineering Union, Sir Alex Ferguson has embraced the concept of "one out, all out". Like many of his values, it has stuck with him for life.

Falling jobless rate boosts Barack Obama's presidential campaign

President Barack Obama received a pre-election boost today as official figures saw the US unemployment rate drop to its lowest level in nearly four years.

Education Secretary Michael Gove

Michael Gove says sorry for playing fields sell-off error

The Government was forced to apologise today for issuing misleading figures about the sell-off of school playing fields.

Richard Garner: How our schools lost the plot

The Coalition decided to axe funding for PE teachers to train in delivering sport

Australian drilling company admits safety violations over pit disaster that killed 29

An Australian drilling company has admitted three health and safety violations in connection with a pit disaster in New Zealand in 2010 in which 29 miners were killed.

President Barack Obama enjoys a beer with potential voters in the must-win state of Ohio

Romney seizes on job figures to blame US 'misery' on Obama

President hits back at Republican's attack during tour of crucial must-win states

Migrant workers in Qatar face serious abuse

Migrant workers in Qatar face severe abuses that in some cases amount to forced labour, an international rights group said yesterday as it urged the Gulf nation to enact reforms ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

Thein Sein: David Cameron will meet the Burmese President and is expected to praise his drive towards democracy

Cameron ready to reward Burma for reforms by easing sanctions

Visiting Aung San Suu Kyi on final leg of his Asian tour, PM seems set to ask EU to change course

Jack Straw has denied complicity in the rendition of Abdelhakim Belhaj

Spying agencies win legal right to keep MPs in dark over rendition

American intelligence agencies, including the CIA and the FBI, have won a court ruling allowing them to withhold evidence from British MPs about suspected UK involvement in "extraordinary rendition" – the secret arrests and alleged torture of terror suspects.

Blow for US recovery as fewer jobs are created

Worries over revival's momentum as increase in non-farm payroll is slowest since October

A petrol bomb explodes near riot police during demonstrationsin Athens

Running battles and rebellion in Athens over new austerity moves

Greek coalition in disarray as European creditors are accused of 'blackmail'

Employees of the Public Power Corporation protest over plans for privatisation in Athens yesterday

Athens agrees austerity deal in bid to unlock €130bn bailout

Greece yesterday unveiled a political deal over budget cuts that should unlock a €130bn (£109m) aid package and enable Athens to avoid a potentially catastrophic default next month. After a week of fraught negotiations between the three parties that make up Lucas Papademos' coalition government, the Prime Minister's office yesterday confirmed that agreement on €3.3bn of new spending cuts had been secured.

Employees of the Public Power Corporation protest over plans for privatisation in Athens yesterday

After months of talks, Greeks told their cuts still don't go far enough

Government agrees to slash budget by €3.3bn but eurozone demands more before releasing bailout

Joblessness fall sparks 11-year high for Nasdaq

The Nasdaq stock index surged to its highest level in 11 years, after data showed US unemployment fell significantly in January.

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Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
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The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
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Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
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Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
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Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
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Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?