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Dharmender Singh Phangurha was a prospective Labour MEP whose promising political career was cut tragically short in a Taliban suicide attack at a restaurant in Kabul. Del Singh, as he was better known, was one of two Britons killed along with 19 others, including senior UN officials, US workers, eight Afghan dignitaries and members of staff of the popular restaurant, La Taverna du Liban, in what was described as the "deadliest violence against foreign civilians" in Afghanistan since the start of the war nearly 13 years ago.

Only 28 per cent of respondents agreed they would be better off with Ed Miliband and Ed Balls

Opinion poll exclusive: Labour lead cut to one point after Tories gain on living standards

Labour’s lead over the Conservatives has dropped to just one point amid signs that the Tories are making headway in the crucial political battle over living standards, according to an opinion poll for The Independent.

Ed Balls will tell the Fabian society that Labour 'will look at new ways of delivering public services'

'Labour will bring back 50p income tax for top earners' says Ed Balls

Shadow Chancellor would shift the burden of the deficit to the rich, raising £10bn in three years

Ed Balls will tell the Fabian society that Labour 'will look at new ways of delivering public services'

Labour toughens fiscal policy with promise to reduce national debt

Shadow Chancellor: ‘We will have to govern with less money ... we will have to make cuts too.’

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: The S-word prompts an unseemly bout of consensus

MPs can be quite good at raising something without actually mentioning it. “As the Deputy Prime Minister knows, sorry is still the hardest word to say,” Labour’s Michael McCann said, misquoting Elton John in a preamble to a question which had nothing to with That Lib Dem Crisis.

Ed Miliband said the Labour Party had become ‘the champion of competition’

PMQs review: Quarterback Miliband leaves the field of play with his legs intact

As some of the keen watchers of the game predicted, he chose the Syria Tactic

Theodore Roosevelt, who was the 26th President of the United States

President Theodore Roosevelt provides Ed Miliband with an unlikely role model

Consumer groups will be given a greater role in identifying and fixing "broken markets" under Labour plans

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: David Cameron’s liaisons are so different to François Hollande’s

It’s fair to assume that David Cameron’s appearance before the Commons Liaison Committee was not the most watched public questioning of a European leader this afternoon. Or, for the man in question, the most gruelling. 

Ed Miliband says he can save the middle class

I put Ed Miliband's love letter to the middle class through Google translate, but it still doesn't make sense

Which other classes will do less well, now the middle is a priority?

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: The curious incident of the peaceful PMQs

“Is there any point to which you wish to draw my attention?” Inspector Gregory might have asked Sherlock Holmes.

51 per cent of the net takings in betting shops came from fixed-odds betting terminals

David Cameron vows to curb 'problem' of betting shops on high streets

The number of high-stakes machines is limited to four in each betting shop, but Labour claims bookmakers have got round the rule by opening more branches – often in deprived areas

The Daily Mail editor-in-chief, Paul Dacre

Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre's pay rises to £1.8m

Paul Dacre remains Britain’s highest-paid newspaper editor, receiving £1.8m last year, according to the annual report of Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT).

The paper raises the question of whether alien races could have used the gravity of stars to “slingshot” probes in order to gain speed: a technique humans already use for probes, such as the Voyager.

Questions to which the answer is still no

I have regretted ending my collection on more than one occasion

Renewal says that millions of people have been priced out of the housing market and that the 300,000 homes a year target should include allowing local authorities to build more social housing

Building new homes to trump Labour is key to winning the election, Tories told

The Conservatives are being urged to trump Labour by promising to build 300,000 new homes a year, in an attempt to shed their “party of the rich” image.

A recent investigation into Serco and G4S found evidence of 'inconsistent managemen' in 22 government contracts

Exclusive: Labour would strip controversial firms G4S and Serco of lucrative contracts

Party said it will try to ‘unpick’ £6bn in outsourcing deals

Chancellor George Osborne has repeatedly insisted that the task of clearing the deficit is not completed

Voters prefer growth to higher wages: Poll suggests Conservatives have won the argument over the economy

The competing visions of the two main parties will be a crucial battleground at the 2015 election

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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