Autumn statement: Government clamps down on contractors

The government claimed the measures will raise £2bn in taxes in the next five years.

Autumn Statement 2013: At a glance

The main points of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement:

George Osborne is delivering his Autumn Statement

Autumn Statement 2013: 'Plan is working, but the job is not yet done', says George Osborne

The measures outlined by the Chancellor included the scrapping of the petrol tax rise of 2p a litre planned for next year

Two million passwords stolen from Facebook, Twitter and Google

Major sites have begun resetting passwords for compromised accounts, although researchers estimate that most targets were from the Netherlands

Fitness to work test DOES disadvantage mentally ill: Court of Appeal upholds ruling against Government

Hundreds of thousands of people with learning difficulties, mental health problems and autism have to go through the Work Capability Assesment to find out if they are eligible for Employment Support Allowance

The retailer says it was easier for John Spedan Lewis to give his company to staff in 1929 than for philanthropists to do the same today

Sir Charlie Mayfield: In for an early Christmas present?

John Lewis's chairman hopes the Chancellor will be more hare than bear when he makes his Autumn Statement

Firefighters search in the the rubble of a collapsed building in Guarulhos, outskirt of Sao Paulo, Brazill

5-story building collapses in Sao Paulo suburb 

A five-story building under construction collapsed last night in the Sao Paulo suburb of Guarulhos, although there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Disabled children and their families form a human chain organised by Disability Activists Forum demanding their rights from the Bengal Government, during the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Calcutta, India

In pictures: International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is marked on 3 December every year, with this year's them 'Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all'.

A4e welfare to work: Five charged over alleged fraud

A further charge has been made against five people in connection with alleged fraudulent activity at welfare to work company A4e, it has been announced.

UK construction sector growing at its fastest pace in six years

Britain's construction sector expanded at its fastest pace in six years in November, hitting its highest levels of output and employment since August 2007, according to newly released data.

Minimum wage must be enforced on pay-cheat bosses, says think tank

Tougher action is needed to enforce the national minimum wage and tackle rogue employers who refuse to pay the statutory rate, a new report has urged.

Manufacturing jobs boom as growth soars

Britain's manufacturing sector grew at its strongest rate in more than three years last month and is gearing up for a hiring spree to take advantage of improved conditions across the industry, a key survey has revealed.

Rathbones chief executive Andy Pomfret to retire

Andy Pomfret has announced plans to step down as chief executive of the £20 billion-plus fund manager Rathbone Brothers next year, handing over to his recently recruited deputy, Philip Howell.

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement should have good news on the deficit and employment – even if the national debt remains disturbingly high

Things are looking up for the economy, but don't get too excited

The Chancellor's Autumn Statement should have good news on the deficit and employment – even if the national debt remains disturbingly high

Some of the alleged crimes took place at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

Birmingham neurosurgeon Nafees Hamid charged with 10 further sex offences

The 50-year-old had already been charged with sexually assaulting a female patient

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
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Jokes on Hollywood

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Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

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Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
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
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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
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Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

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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