News Workers at mail-order company La Redoute protest in Lille against plans to sack 1,200 workers

3.2 million people are working so hard that they risked mental or physical breakdown, study finds

Calm start to Sydney to Hobart Race

First night frights were kept to a minimum in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race.

Jobless total rises for first time in six months

The Government was given some grim pre-Christmas news on jobs today when unemployment increased by 35,000 and the number of young people out of work reached near-record levels.

3,000 police face early retirement threat

More than 3,000 of the most experienced police officers could be forced to retire early under a legal loophole, figures showed today.

Frankie Boyle: I Would Happily Punch Every One of You in the Face, New Theatre, Oxford

Who better, I thought, to shake us out of credit-crunch fatigue and the cuts commotion than the scything Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle? It's a last act of "kindness" before his early retirement from live performance, announced two years ago and which finally begins at the end of this tour.

Aegon staff braced for job cuts in UK overhaul

Aegon revealed plans to axe two businesses and warned of further job cuts under a sweeping overhaul of its UK arm yesterday.

Maassen's Corvette sets the pace on day of surprises to land pole position

The Corvette of Xavier Maassen and Jos Menten was the surprise winner of yesterday's FIA GT1 World Championship qualifying race at Spa, in a contest that succeeded in turning all previous form on its head.

Richards is new Chief of Defence Staff

The head of the Army, General Sir David Richards, has been appointed the next Chief of the Defence Staff.

The feral beast: Dacre's knighthood mystery

Those still coming to terms with the non-knighthood for Mail supremo Paul Dacre have been trying to console themselves.

The Sketch: Luck, judgement and old-fashioned politics

Why Danny? After David Laws we needed another Liberal as Chief Secretary and for reasons which no one has established we got Danny Alexander. Maybe his function is dinner. Maybe he's the fellow you take on the long escape march because you need something to eat halfway across the wilderness.

Sarkozy follows Europe in raising retirement age

The French, who have the youngest retirement age in Europe, will soon have to work longer to qualify for a full state pension. As unions called a nationwide strike to defend pension rights today, the government said that France could no longer afford the retirement age of 60 – for both men and women – which has existed since 1982.

Zenden's finish has hint of Van Basten

Sunderland 3 Tottenham Hotspur 1

How to quit while you're ahead: Lily's the sly, retiring type

She zoomed from obscurity to ubiquity, and now she's off. Or so she says. Lily Allen leaves them wanting more

Wealth Check: 'Is now a good time to get on the property ladder?'

Simon Meredith, 28, lives in a rented flat in south London with his girlfriend. He works full-time as a computer programmer but also earns a significant amount of his income from his work as a musician.

Simon Carr: I read the news today. Oh boy...

One happy, silly item is put in to balance 500 pieces of angst and anger

Stephen Foley: When will Citigroup pay for its sins?

US Outlook: Surely this week's fund-raising debacle is the final straw for shareholders, when it comes to their tolerance of Vikram Pandit's incompetent leadership at Citigroup?

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Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
transfersColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
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Antoine Griezmann has started two of France’s four games so far
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techYahoo Japan launches service to delete your files and email your relatives when you die
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Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
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Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
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<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
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Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
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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
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor