Journalists inspect the new Mini Cooper during its official unveiling at BMW's plant at Cowley in Oxford, England

Bigger, better – British? BMW takes on a classic as latest incarnation of Mini is unveiled

Sean O’Grady charts its ageless appeal – and compares the new model to its illustrious (but less profitable) predecessors

Tom Hodgkinson: 'My current car cost us £350, but it is not £29,650 worse than a 30-grand car'

One of the downsides about spending more time in London is that you are surrounded by expensive cars. I suppose they belong to these oligarchs and super-rich Kuwaitis we keep hearing about, the ones who are buying all the houses in London and digging two basements under them. When I wander round the streets near us in Notting Hill, all I see are gigantic black Jeep-type things and low-slung black sports cars with black leather seats.

Sarah Palin, pictured here in 2011

Sarah Palin fears 'liberal' Pope Francis being influenced by the 'sneering media'

Former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has said Pope Francis has “taken her aback” with his liberal interpretation of Christianity and has expressed fears he may be being influenced by the mainstream media.

Vandals cause £1m in damage to wealthy MP's estate

Attack allegedly occurred just hours after Mr Benyon was told he had been sacked as Government minister

Motoring review: Citroën C4 Picasso 1.6 e-HDi VTR+

Is the new Picasso evidence of a renaissance at Citroën?

Motoring ahead: PPI payouts fuel jump in sales of new cars

Car sales have roared to their highest level for more than five years as PPI mis-selling claims fuel a boom in consumer spending.

Les Hale, 100, one of Britain's centenarian car drivers, photographed at home in Lydbrook, Gloucestershire

Almost 200 centenarians still drive legally on UK roads - but are they safe?

There are 191 people aged 100 or over who are still legally allowed to drive on UK roads, according to figures published today.

Obama accused the Republicans of 'extortion'

Battle over Obamacare may trigger US government shutdown

Republican attempts to derail planned healthcare reforms could provoke financial meltdown

European car sales plunge

This year has seen the slowest car sales on record in Europe, with the UK being the only country where drivers bought more new motors than in 2012.

Conman ‘addicted’ to taking money from women he met on dating sites

A conman with an “addiction” to swindling money from vulnerable women on dating websites has been jailed for four years.

£100,000 Audi R8 driver held over death of woman after Birmingham crash

Two women in a Ford Fiesta were taken to hospital, but one was pronounced dead on arrival

Book review: The Undercover Economist Strikes Back, By Tim Harford

Our chief economic storyteller turns his talents to the big picture of recession – and recovery

10 years' jail for prolific sex attacker Nigel Turner who returned to comfort victim

33-year-old admitted subjecting girls as young as 16 to 'predatory and premeditated' attacks in Bristol

Chris Coleman remonstrates on the touchline with Gareth Bale as Wales take on Scotland

Transfer news: Wales boss Chris Coleman believes Gareth Bale is yet to reach his best ahead of potential Real Madrid move

Coleman has named Bale in the Wales squad to face the Republic of Ireland next week and insists he is 'only going to get better' regardless of if he stays in the Premier League

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future