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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.

The care of children is a front-runner on Labour’s 2015 ‘pledge card’

Exclusive: Labour moves towards promise for free childcare for all preschoolers

IPPR report proposes a shift in spending away from Gordon Brown’s flagship tax credits

Ed Miliband and fam play it safe; Nick and Miriam Clegg's children livened up their parents' dull, homely image

Trump card

The festive family selfie is the Christmas card of choice for all three party leaders this year, but they each had their own take. There was one clear winner, says Andy McSmith

Ed Balls faced sustained heckling from the Tory back benches during his response to George Osborne's Autumn Statement

Faced with sustained heckling from the enemy, Ed Balls fluffs lines

Ed Balls endured a torrid time in the Commons as he accused George Osborne of resorting to “smoke and mirrors” to cover up a record of economic failure.

Nick Clegg has challenged the big energy companies to 'come clean'

Government in £300m energy bill rebate

The Government is reportedly planning a £300m rebate to help with the rising cost of energy bills.

Cameron's party is perceived by a majority of the public to only represent the interests of the rich

Most voters see Tories as 'party of the rich'

Results also highlight dangerous 'gender gap' facing party

The Co-op is set to review millions of pounds of loans and donations linking it to the Labour party

Labour faces 'cash crisis' as Co-op reviews ties to party in wake of Flowers scandal

Millions of pounds in loans and donations to the opposition could be in doubt as inquiry seeks to get to the bottom of the Co-op's failings

Former Co-op Bank chair Paul Flowers investigated for expenses claims and suspended from drug charity

Ed Miliband defends Labour's dealing with bank and Mr Flowers, saying party acted with 'utmost integrity'

Paul Flowers was questioned my MPs over the Co-operative Bank's losses on 6 November

PMQs review: High on Flowers power, David Cameron wipes the floor with Ed

Every one of Miliband’s six questions was cut off at the knees

Paul Flowers was questioned my MPs over the Co-operative Bank's losses on 6 November

City to probe how Co-op came to grief with Rev Paul Flowers as police search the former chairman's home over drugs allegations

Prime Minister David Cameron attacks Labour links as Vince Cable reviews scandal-hit bank’s mutual status

Crispin Blunt has survived an attempt by worthies in his local party to get rid of him

Andy McSmith's Diary: Is the revolt against Crispin Blunt by his local party because he's gay? Yes and no

Some local ladies were offended by the way that Blunt’s marriage ended

Jim Armitage: Neat wriggle, and megaprofits for megawatts can continue

Outlook Didn't they do well? Energy companies have long loathed the green levies, mostly put on them by the previous government.

Will Labour reverse the privatisation of the NHS? I want to believe it...

Allowing in for-profit companies is the worst way to better our care

Nick Clegg accuses Tories and Labour of cooling on green issues in age of austerity

Nick Clegg will today accuse David Cameron of abandoning the green agenda he once championed as he claims  the Liberal Democrats are now the only mainstream party that gives priority to the environment.

The reason Labour's lead is shrinking? It's losing battle to keep hold of voters gained from Lib Dems after formation of Coalition

The Independent 'poll of polls' suggests 'lost' supporters are mainly switching to Green Party or Ukip

Jim Armitage: We're warming to Ed as energy prices climb

Outlook Brrr… the first chilly day of the year yesterday was possibly not the best one for SSE to raise its bills by more than 8 per cent.

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Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
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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
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Antoine Griezmann has started two of France’s four games so far
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Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
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Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
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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