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

Plans to scrap school building projects spark coalition uproar

The Government was battling a growing backlash from Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs and activists over moves to scrap more than 700 school building projects.

Don't let the NHS escape pain of cuts, Tories say

George Osborne is resisting pressure from Conservative MPs to end the special immunity from spending cuts he has given to the £104.1bn-a-year budget of the National Health Service.

Osborne orders departments to plan for cuts up to 40 per cent

Chancellor George Osborne has ordered Government departments to draw up plans for spending cuts of up to 40% - slashing services and axing hundreds of thousands of jobs - the Treasury said tonight.

The age of austerity is only just beginning

Britain's public services face the "longest, deepest, sustained period of spending cuts since at least the Second World War", according to the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). Never before in peacetime has the public sector seen budgets reduced every year for six years. Some departments will face cutbacks of a third.

Michael McCarthy: The less said the better about the planet, but there are cuts to come

When we get down to the nitty-gritty of individual department budgets, we see trouble

Britain tops G8 nations in overseas aid says report

Britain is spending a larger proportion of national income on overseas aid than any other G8 nation, according to a report published ahead of this week's summit of the group of industrialised states.

The Last Banana: Dancing with the Watu, By Shelby Tucker

How a Greek tragedy befell Africa

Coalition ends 'awareness projects'

The government yesterday pulled the plug on UK-based "awareness projects" funded from the overseas aid budget. Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, said he was imposing an immediate freeze on new funding for projects, and was withdrawing support totalling half a million pounds from five existing schemes. Some £6.5m committed by the Department for International Development under the Labour administration to a new programme called The Global Development Engagement Fund will be suspended, said Mr Mitchell, a Conservative member of the coalition.

Devil's in a lack of detail for Osborne and friends

The Lib-Con pact gives the new Chancellor carte blanche to rip up his party's manifesto – so how will he tackle the deficit now, asks Richard Northedge

Tories 'could put climate change agreement at risk'

A historic climate change deal would be put at risk by a Conservative government because of the "injustice" of the way they would fund the battle against global warming in developing nations, David Cameron is warned today.

Business Diary: 24/04/2010

The 7,500 lost souls who didn't read small print

International development: Government promises not to cut overseas aid

The Government – like the Tory opposition – has promised not to cut its overall spending on overseas aid.

Tory party has been bought like a 'banana republic', says Huhne

Michael Ashcroft, the billionaire Tory peer, has not paid income tax on his vast overseas earnings for more than 10 years, it was revealed yesterday.

Simon Carr: 'You want to throw the cat at Brooke'

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent