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

Cameron: 'We have to go further and faster on reducing the deficit'

David Cameron reaffirms urgency of deficit reduction

David Cameron has said that the Government needs to go “further and faster” to bring down the deficit after the loss of Britain’s coveted AAA credit rating.

Oxfam to donate its archive to Bodlean

Oxfam is to donate its 70-year archive to Oxford University's Bodleian Libraries, it was announced today.

Editorial: A poorly disguised raid on Britain's aid budget

If David Cameron wants to up military spending he should have the courage to say so

David Cameron visits the Golden Temple in Amritsar

Foreign-aid cash could be used to pacify war zones, says David Cameron

Money earmarked for foreign aid could be switched to the Ministry of Defence in an attempt to focus more resources on bringing peace and stability to warzones, David Cameron has signalled.

Las Vegas Sands boss Sheldon Adelson

Mitt Romney's backer to build huge £18bn 'EuroVegas' resort outside Madrid

Bishops fear Sheldon Adelson’s €22bn casino will lead poor Spaniards into gambling addiction

Think tank predicts Chancellor is due to borrow £64bn more than planned by 2015

Families face further tax rises as think tank predicts more job losses

Families face further tax rises or more cuts to welfare spending because of the continuing weakness of the economy, a respected think tank warned today.

Pensioners' fuel allowance, free TV licence and bus passes at risk as Downing Street admits pledge to protect them only applies until 2015

New doubts were raised today about the future of pensioners' benefits, after Downing Street made clear that the Prime Minister's pledge to protect them applies only until the 2015 general election.

The Defence Secretary, Education Secretary, and Home Secretary, are among senior Tories arguing for another squeeze on welfare

Tensions rise as ministers press for deeper cuts to welfare

Conservative Cabinet ministers are pressing for another round of cuts in the welfare budget in an attempt to protect their own departments from the Treasury’s demand for a further £10bn of savings.

An injured Kachin Independence Army soldier is treated on Hka Ya mountain yesterday

Burmese army broke ceasefire agreed by President, say rebels

Burmese troops attacked rebel positions in north-east Kachin yesterday despite a ceasefire order from the President and an invitation to the insurgents to take part in peace talks.

Michael Appleton

Roy Hodgson advised Michael Appleton to take 'disaster shipwreck' job at Blackburn

England manager had a stint at Ewood Park

Gives overseas aid to MoD and BBC, says think-tank

A third of the money the Government spends on overseas aid should be diverted to the military budget so that Britain’s armed forces can respond better to natural catastrophes like earthquakes and tsunamis, a right-wing policy institute argues.

Death toll from Philippines typhoon reaches over 1,000

The death toll from a typhoon that devastated mountainous and coastal towns in the southern Philippines with ferocious winds and flash floods this month has risen to more than 1,000.

George Osborne goes for growth (by firing 10,000 civil servants)

Chancellor warns he will squeeze departmental budgets so he can find £5bn to boost economy

Editorial: Less aid to India must mean more sent elsewhere

Justine Greening is supposed to have told the Prime Minister, when he made her Secretary of State for International Development in September: "I didn't come into politics to distribute money to people in the Third World."

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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?