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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

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Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
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Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

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Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
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'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

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Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

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