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

Leading article: India no longer needs our hlep

India has become the world's largest importer of arms, accounting for 9 per cent of all global purchases. As we report today, its annual defence budget stands at a record £22.3bn – an 11 per cent rise over the previous year – more than double the amount that India, with its rapidly rising economy, spends on education and health combined.

Christina Patterson: We can't solve all the world's problems. But we can try

Aid has become ideological. The Left has been too tolerant of what doesn’t work. The Right has been too mean. But some things really ought to be beyond ideology

Leading article: The right is wrong on Africa

The Dadaab refugee camp in north Kenya is now the third most populous city in the country. It holds 360,000 people who have fled from neighbouring Somalia, where drought and civil war have combined to threaten famine. Oxfam says 10,000 a week are arriving at the camp, where they squat hopefully outside the perimeter in increasing squalor.

Whistleblower or fraudster? Afghan bank chief flees to America

Kabul issues arrest warrant as corruption scandal deepens

US warns withdrawal will leave Afghanistan in economic crisis

Afghanistan is so dependent on foreign aid that it could face an economic crisis when the West ends its military intervention in the country in 2014, a United States Senate report warned yesterday, criticising the way the US had sunk billions into unsustainable projects in the shattered country.

Minister on warpath over leaked letters

Several prosecutions are likely following investigations into leaks of letters written to the Prime Minister by Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary predicted yesterday.

'We can still afford to help the world's poorest', says PM

As powerful voices in his party and the press urge him to slash international aid, Cameron takes a stand

Government 'committed to aid bill'

Downing Street insisted today the Government was committed to enshrining its overseas aid spending targets in law, despite objections by Defence Secretary Liam Fox.

Liam Fox challenges David Cameron foreign aid policy

Defence Secretary Liam Fox has challenged David Cameron's plan to enshrine the Government's overseas aid spending targets in law, it was revealed today.

Rise in climate change disasters

Climate change is increasing the number of disasters which hit children in poor countries, campaigners have warned.

Australia moves back to reviled 'Pacific Solution' for migrants

The most most reviled policy of Australia's former right-wing prime minister, John Howard was detaining asylum-seekers on remote Pacific islands to deter a threatened flood of them.

Stephen Glover: Cut the World Service and it's Britain we harm

Media Studies: Is the government machine too rigid for anyone to admit that a sillydecision was made during last autumn's spending review?

Cooper Brown: Liberals

The cost of repairing the flood at the Cooperdome is quite crippling but you don’t see international aid agencies coming to my rescue. Cooperman is having to deal with this crisis on his own as Victoria has decamped to the country with H-F. I hopped into the Quattroporte and zoomed down to try and get some sympathy sex.

Haitians go to polls amid violence and ballot station chaos

Haitians went to the polls yesterday to elect a new president amid the ruins of an earthquake that has left 800,000 people homeless, fears of a cholera outbreak and reports of campaign violence and ballot station chaos.

Cambodia: Compromise offer on US 'dirty debt'

Cambodia has offered to repay 30 per cent of the debt owed to the US, as a "compromise" over money which it says was used by a pro-American government in the 1970s to repress its own people.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015