News Gamers in California using the Wii console as entertainment to play Wii Bowling.

The Department for Work and Pensions revealed the new system after a turbulent introduction of the Universal Credit programme

John Rentoul: Here lies electoral reform. R.I.P.

The political veteran started life as a much-loved idealist but withered away, neglected and outmoded

MPs to probe pre-release of official statistics

MPs are to examine the "highly questionable" practice of allowing ministers advance sight of official statistics after the Conservatives dropped plans to reform the system, it emerged today.

Scrapping quangos 'not ideological', says Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude insisted today that the Government was not on an "ideological" drive to scrap quangos.

Serco backpedals over rebate demands

'Unreserved' apology follows questioning of move by minister

Outsourcer Serco apologises over rebate demand

Outsourcing giant Serco today apologised for writing a letter to its suppliers demanding rebates in the face of Government spending cuts.

Consuming Issues: Swinging axe at every quango will not pay off

Hands up if you're getting a refund from Npower? OK, not that many – just 1.8 million people.

Julian Knight: Consumers burned in bonfire of the quangos

It cost just £5m a year to run Consumer Focus and the public will enjoy less protection now its work is going to Citizens Advice

Culled Audit Commission moves towards employee buyout

The Audit Commission, which reviews local public services, is ramping up plans for an employee buy-out since being named as one of nearly 200 quangos facing abolition.

Editor-At-Large: Paying workers to give up their jobs is bad housekeeping

If I get a nasty tax bill and have to cut back on my spending, there are obvious, if unpleasant, measures. Cut up credit cards. Set a daily cash budget and stick to it. Stop shopping, except for essentials. No frocks. Travel off-peak, shop for cheaper energy deals. Not exactly rocket science. To pay off debts you need a simple plan. Families are trimming their expenditure carefully as up to 600,000 public-sector workers face redundancy. So, we are told, is the Government.

Leading article: Quangos: efficiency or ideology?

A quango sounds like a monstrous beast conjured from the imagination of Lewis Carroll. There is something inherently preposterous about the very word. No wonder the public love the idea of the culling these quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations and their hordes of politically correct bureaucrats. Until, that is, you ask whether it is a good idea to keep politics out of issues better decided by experts – like whether a new drug is value-for-money for the NHS. Or to keep politicians away from matters that require impartiality – like the news values of the BBC, one of the most precious quangos on the British national landscape. Some of the things that quangos do suddenly seem rather a good idea.

Cull of quangos scaled back after lobbying

Plans for a "bonfire of quangos" will today be scaled back by the Government after an intensive lobbying campaign.

'Serious prospect' of union agreement on civil servant redundancies

There is a "serious prospect" of getting unions to agree new redundancy terms for civil servants, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said today, which could bring an end to months of wrangling.

Efficiency review finds 'staggering waste'

A review of Government efficiency by a leading businessman has uncovered a "staggering" waste of money, it was revealed today.

Fury over civil service 'redundancy deal'

The Government was embroiled in a row with unions today after being accused of "bullying" civil servants to leave their jobs with reduced payouts.

The Sketch: Damned if I can work out what their plan is

"We have no plans to abolish child benefit." Was that true? Yes, but in the sense that "No decision has been made to invade Iraq" was true. Preparations went on for a year but the "decision" was made only when the orders were signed. In truth, there don't seem to be "plans" in what is obviously government by inspiration.

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Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
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Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
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From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific