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

Thousands made homeless by flooding in Benin

Hundreds of thousands of people have been made homeless by flooding which hit West Africa during its annual rainy season.

Banana Republic bends Britain to its will

The high street may be a gloomy place right now, but Banana Republic is well-placed to expand. James Thompson reports

International Development: Anger as aid is linked to security

The overseas aid budget has been protected and will rise to £11.5bn by 2015. This will enable the UK to reach the UN's target of member states donating 0.7 per cent of national income in aid by 2013.

Aid 'being withheld to crush dissent'

Ethiopia is denying opposition supporters food, other aid, loans and government services in a widespread effort to suppress political dissent, according to Human Rights Watch.

BBC warns Government over free licence fee funding

The BBC Trust warned the Government today it would fight any move to force it to meet the cost of free television licences for the over-75s.

Jimmy Carter taken to hospital

Jimmy Carter, the former US president, was taken to hospital in Ohio yesterday after becoming ill while flying there, according to media reports. Mr Carter, 85, who served as president from 1977 to 1981, was on his way to Cleveland for a book-signing event.

Professor Jeffrey Sachs: It's not a question of capacity, it's a matter of priorities

There is no backlash against the Millennium Development Goals; there is no throwing up of hands. In a very cynical age, the UN draft declaration is a cynicism-free document. Important things can be done. And the goals that we set are practical and effective.

Coalition plans to link oveseas aid to security

Part of Britain's £6bn overseas aid budget could be switched to defence and anti-terrorism projects, according to a leaked government document.

Debts pushing Pakistan to the brink of ruin

The flooding crisis has weakened an economy already struggling to cope with its heavy financial burden. Omar Waraich reports from Islamabad

Government 'still has much to do' after first three months

The taxpayers' verdict on the first three months of the Government shows there is still "a lot to be done", campaigners said today.

High-street heroes: The best affordable buys for autumn

This autumn brings new shapes and a sleek, grown-up silhouette, but there's no need to spend a fortune to get the look. Harriet Walker picks the best affordable buys

Children found starving in rural Australia

Aboriginal disadvantage has not rated a mention during the Australian election campaign – there are few votes in it. But as the party leaders criss-crossed the country this week, shocking evidence emerged at a government inquiry: children in remote indigenous communities are starving.

Climate change threatens poverty fight, report warns

Climate change threatens to undo years of work to tackle poverty in developing countries, a report warned today.

Ashdown appointed 'disaster tsar'

Lord Ashdown has been made the Government's "disaster tsar", with the task of improving Britain's response to humanitarian emergencies such as the Haiti earthquake.

The Haiti earthquake six months on

Six months after enduring one of the deadliest natural disasters of the past century, the small republic of Haiti is finally showing signs of recovery.

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum