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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links