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Manchester’s Chorlton along with Herne Hill, Muswell Hill and Dagenham in London are some of the worst afflicted areas while Mossley Hill and Waterloo in Liverpool also feature prominently

Multiple sclerosis charity says benefits reform is creating anxiety amongst sufferers

Changes to the benefits system are forcing those in greatest need of aid to suffer, a charity has warned.

Tories win latest by-elections after swing from Labour

Tories gained from Labour in the latest local by-elections just a day after a massive slump in a London contest.

London by-election boost for Labour

Labour's London elections campaign has received a much-needed council by-election boost in a key marginal assembly constituency.

First Night: George Michael - Symphonica Tour, State Opera House, Prague

Holding back the tears, Michael restores faith in a magical voice

Howard Jacobson: What fresh hell is this? A journey by train

Have you been on a train recently?

'I wasn't able to pray. It took me years to recover'

A former nun who left her order hating God, then became a prolific theologian, has at last returned to faith – but still has no time for organised religion

Man jailed for conning £15m from investors

Fraudster spent cash from bogus hedge fund on fleet of luxury cars and antiques

Jerry Springer: The holocaust and my family

His name will always be synonymous with his TV talk show, but there's more to Jerry Springer than spoof operas and fighting dwarfs. James Rampton meets a fiercely political animal who's coming to terms with a painful family history

More For Your Money: Walthamstow Village, E17

Street market society

PsychoGeography #70: Going underground

The tube can be as packed as a sardine can, or as empty as the Gobi Desert

PsychoGeography #31: Sitting on top of the world

Two decades ago I spent three months in India. My companion was Turnbull St Asser, the last scion of a north-country dynasty of enormous antiquity (they came over with the Cro-Magnons), who had dedicated 30 generations to dissipation and dilettantism.

Wife-killing mandarin is detained

A SENIOR Treasury official who killed his wife in a hammer attack and then threw himself under the wheels of a van in a suicide attempt was yesterday committed to a mental hospital.

Radio: Is the BBC at last learning to listen?

Y ou notice them from time to time: little signs, like snowdrops, of a gradual thaw in the ice-age of Thatcherism. Esso stops charging customers for the use of its air pumps. A sort of Labour Party wins an election. And the BBC acts on a listener's suggestion sent to Feedback.

Rugby League: Finals that thrill the memory

Saturday's Rugby League Challenge Cup final will be the last at the `old' Wembley. Dave Hadfield remembers the best moments of the annual pilgrimage to London
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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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform