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
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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

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How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
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Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
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'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

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Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

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Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

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Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

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