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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Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
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Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
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Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment