News Lynton Crosby has told ministers to stop announcing minor policies which distract from the party's core messages

Government departments have effectively been banned from promoting initiatives that are not central to the party’s key election themes of crime, the economy, immigration and welfare

Dr Fox said doctors and nurses were partly responsible for incidences of poor care, referring to the Stafford Hospital scandal

Liam Fox calls for end to ring-fencing of finances for 'wasteful NHS'

Former Shadow Health Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, says an obsession with targets and spending was 'killing patients'

Smythson CEO Andy Janowski to leave after the birth of his twins

Chairman and owner Jacques Bahbout will take the reins

Banana-nap: a woman rests at her banana stall in Manaus, Brazil

Why we must save the banana

The healthy snack is under threat, with insect plagues reducing global supplies. Rosie Millard wonders where we’d be without the lovable fruit and its comic potential

After the death of Nelson Mandela, Africa tilts towards hope

Day two of the obituaries saw a rebalancing. The full backlash cannot be far behind

Bombs and guns ‘have killed 11,500 children’ in Syria, research shows, including some executed and tortured

Reports records 764 children as summarily executed, 112 of whom were reported to have been tortured, including some of infant age

Countries with poor tax collection may lose international aid, says Justine Greening

International Development Secretary Justine Greening has hinted that the Government may look at reducing aid funding for countries that are not properly collecting taxes.

HMS Daring arrives at Cebu island to join Philippines relief effort

British warship will take aid to previously unassisted remote islands and villages

Ending poverty is a huge ambition. It's too much to ask of foreign aid

The long-running debate on how much foreign aid can help is drawing to a close

Godfrey Bloom to resign as Ukip MEP after controversial 'sluts' remark

Former party whip will sit as an independent in the European Parliament 

Too many peace efforts mean further instability in eastern Congo

Confusion over the crisis in eastern Congo stems from three separate and often competing peace efforts in one of the world’s most unstable areas. Fighting between rebel groups and the army has displaced one million people since July, all under the watchful eye of the UN’s biggest peacekeeping operation.

Public finances slip into the red in July despite recovery

The public finances registered a surprise deficit in July, frustrating George Osborne's hopes of bringing down public borrowing more rapidly.

African Union peacekeepers take position outside the UN compound in Somalia

British foreign aid for Somalia falls into hands of al-Qa'ida

Almost £500,000 of goods and equipment "confiscated" by terror group as aid budget row continues

Critics ask why Britain is giving £1.5bn in aid to six nations with space ambitions

TaxPayers' Alliance says countries with space programmes should not be receiving money from UK mean to be going to world's poorest

Nigel Farage's party has continued to make significant gains

Has Ukip finally gone too far? 'Bongo bongo land' remarks by MEP Godfrey Bloom could prove a crucial tipping-point for the party

After causing waves of offence and being gently rebuked by his party leadership, Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom has belatedly apologised and promised not to use the term “bongo bongo land” again.

UKip MEP Godfrey Bloom

Godfrey Bloom shrugs off condemnation after demanding that Britain stops sending money to 'Bongo Bongo Land'

But Godfrey Bloom shrugs off criticism saying his remarks would 'probably double my vote in the north of England'

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee