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.

PM claims immigration is wrecking communities

David Cameron will today make the provocative claim that communities across Britain are being damaged by the record levels of immigration of the last decade.

Nick Clegg sets out social mobility plan

Nick Clegg claimed today that "birth has become destiny" for many youngsters as he set out the Government's strategy to improve social mobility.

US jobless rate hits two-year low

The US economy added 216,000 jobs last month, with the gains driving the country's unemployment rate to a two-year low of 8.8 per cent, according to official figures released yesterday.

Aviva drops ex-Lloyds boss from shortlist

Eric Daniels will be removed tomorrow from the shortlist of candidates being considered to become the next chairman of Aviva, the insurance group, following an outcry from investors.

Main points of the public sector pensions review

Former Labour minister Lord Hutton has set out proposals for wide-ranging reforms to public sector pension schemes. These are his main recommendations:

Lords finally back down on voting reform referendum

Britain will get to decide on 5 May whether the "first past the post" system for electing MPs should be reformed after Peers gave in to the House of Commons in a late-night battle of wills.

Peers stand firm on voting reform

The Lords tonight refused to back down over measures which would make the proposed referendum on changing the voting system for Westminster elections binding only if turnout was higher than 40%.

Labour peers accused of sabotaging voting reform

Labour was accused last night of attempting to sabotage plans for electoral reform by stealth, after Peers voted to make this May's referendum binding only if the voter turnout was above 40 per cent.

John Rentoul: The new gold standard: Don't blame us, guv, we weren't even there

Sketch: Cameron appeared to purr smoothly, with the moral conviction of someone who has been in power for five minutes

US economy adds just 36,000 jobs

The world's largest economy added a mere 36,000 jobs last month, far lower than forecast, as the severe winter weather weighed on the rate of job creation, official figures showed last night

Peace process under threat as Barak goes to war with his party

Israel's defence minister, Ehud Barak, abruptly quit as leader of the Labour Party yesterday, plunging the party into disarray and casting a shadow over prospects for peace.

Power to the pupils: A Bristol school is giving students a say in key decisions

Pupils have a say in key decisions, from interviewing new teachers to deciding how much homework should be set. Could the idea catch on?

Fears of Tory rebellion over high-speed rail

Ministers announced a series of changes yesterday to plans for a £12bn high-speed rail link from London to Birmingham in an effort to avert a Conservative rebellion against the scheme.

One black applicant in 100 gets 'fast-track' Whitehall job

Black applicants have less than a one in a 100 chance of being recruited to Britain's Civil Service fast track, figures published for the first time reveal.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'