News George Osborne has cautioned against 'self-defeating' minimum wage increases

Chancellor says he wants to see low-paid workers' earnings rising, but not at the cost of jobs

Album: Guided by Voices, Let's Go Eat the Factory (Fire Records)

After a 15-year hiatus, the "classic" line-up of Dayton, Ohio, lo-fi veterans reformed in 2010 for a year-long tour, culminating in this new album of 21 songs with titles such as "Doughnut For a Snowman".

Album: Boy Bear, Moonfire (V2)

The nu-folk-rock boom has now, it seems, gone global, spreading beyond its Anglo-American bases to Australia, where Boy & Bear's Moonfire has been a runaway success.

It Chooses You, By Miranda July

For sale: Odd glimpses into marginal lives

A Los Angeles firefighter tackles a car blaze in West Hollywood

Three nights, 38 fires: arson attacks sweep Hollywood

Number of incidents make police believe that a gang or copycat arsonists may be responsible

Nordine Amrani had convictions for drugs and arms offences

Liège gunman 'feared going back to prison'

Nordine Amrani was due to see police about sex assault at time of gun and grenade attack

Wild Flag

Wild Flag, The Lexington, London (4/5)

Five years after riot grrrl mavens Sleater-Kinney announced news of their indefinite hiatus and two of the band's core members -larger-than-life guitarist turned writer Carrie Brownstein and drummer Janet Weiss - are back with a new musical endeavour which threatens to blow all other previous projects clean out of the water.

Starbucks to create 5,000 jobs

Starbucks expects to create 5,000 jobs over the next five years, driven by a rapid expansion of its drive-through formats.

Cameron accused over £140,000 land payment

David Cameron was criticised yesterday for not disclosing that he had spent £137,500 on buying a plot of land next to his Oxfordshire home from a public relations boss.

Border line: Dismantling a garage in Anna Pavord's garden meant space for a shrub border

If we hadn't pulled down the garage, I wouldn't have made the shrub border. This is the Law of Unintended Consequences. And it's how most of us go on in our gardens. Things get done in a piecemeal way. The garage was the first thing you saw when you turned into our yard and it blocked out the view beyond. From the beginning we planned to get rid of this breezeblock barrack, so the ground swept uninterrupted from the yard down to the valley below.

Something for the weekend: 'We built our dream holiday cottage for less than £100,000'

A second home in the South-west doesn't have to mean a mansion in Sandbanks or a pied-à-terre in Padstow.

Strong growth for car parts supplier

The high cost of servicing cars is helping suppliers to the independent trade, according to the latest results from Euro Car Parts, the UK's largest distributor of spares.

The Insider: How to have a good clear-out

I recently moved from a rented office to one at home – and so daunting was the proliferation of stuff I had accumulated that I just bundled the lot, unfiltered, into the garage. I now flinch at the thought of it. Clutter already impinges on the harmonious interior of my dreams. But how does a hardcore hoarder start to sift?

Riot victims: 'Their mother is broken. She was robbed of two sons in a single night'

At a mosque where the traumatised family of Abdul Mussavir and Shahzad Ali had gathered, people queued throughout the day to pay their respects to a household deprived of two sons. On the road in front of the red-brick building, Abdul Qadooth, the oldest brother, sobbed as friends embraced him.

Small garages turn to alternative sources for finance

Small independent garages looking to raise short-term finance in order to fund expansion are increasingly being turned away from the high-street banks.

11 arrested in police garage raid

Police have arrested 11 people after a raid on a suspected rip-off garage which allegedly held cars to ransom, with staff intimidating and even assaulting customers.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'