News The more modern town of Salford, where the latest investment of the English Cities Fund is expected to be announced

Could Britain’s chronic housing shortage be solved by using insurers’ assets? Jamie Dunkley and Russell Lynch report

Government plans to relax cycling by-laws

Hundreds of miles of cycle routes could be created across England following a move to make it easier for councils to scrap outdated local laws.

Rents could top £2,000 a week during Games

In Vancouver, which hosted the 2010 Winter Games, landlords cashed in by forcing out tenants and selling houses

Housing industry 'rebound' observed

The housebuilding industry showed signs of recovering during the first quarter, with the number of new properties started jumping by 26%.

Defence Secretary to unveil military covenant

Defence Secretary Liam Fox will unveil the new military covenant today - promising extra help for the armed forces after the Government bowed to pressure to enshrine their rights in law.

Buyers beware of new-build home headaches

Developers' incentives may be tempting, but costly pitfalls litter the road to completion, warns Chiara Cavaglieri

Council chief given 'unfit' payout then gets £200,000 role

Retired on health grounds with £50,000 a year pension – only to be hired by another authority

Miliband says 'fighting cuts' is election theme

Ed Miliband claimed Labour would be the public's "first line of defence" against the Coalition Government's spending cuts yesterday as he launched his party's campaign for the 5 May local elections.

'Zero-carbon' homes can still emit CO2

Newly built houses will be allowed to emit tons of CO2 every year and still be called "zero carbon" under new rules being considered by ministers.

UK house-building at lowest level since 1923

The number of new homes completed in England last year fell to its lowest level since 1923, Government figures showed today.

'No easy fix' to help first-time buyers

There is no "magic bullet" that will remove the problems faced by first-time house buyers, Michael Coogan, director-general of the Council of Mortgage Lenders, warned yesterday. He told the First-Time Buyers summit called by the Housing minister, Grant Shapps, that mortgage insurance, shared ownership and product innovation could all potentially help, but that returning to a normal mortgage market was likely to be a gradual process, as confidence was restored.

Julian Knight: As Which? wades in, perhaps we can end card-handling fee con

£36 in fees for one airline booking when the real cost is 20p? It's consumer abuse, pure and simple

Tim Walker: Abbey Road is not my memory lane

If you read a newspaper yesterday – almost any newspaper – you'll be aware that it's precisely 50 years since the Beatles played their first show at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. Given they didn't break up until 1970, this means we can all look forward to almost a decade of semi-centennial Beatles stories. Put it in your forward planners: October 2012 is the 50th birthday of "Love Me Do", the band's debut single. In 2013, it'll be half a century since their first LP.

Cuts threaten 2,000 Manchester council jobs

One of the country's biggest local authorities warned today of 2,000 redundancies, sparking threats of industrial action and taking the council jobs cull caused by the Government's spending cuts to almost 114,000.

Judges get power to fast-track eviction of nasty neighbours

Judges are to be given new powers to fast-track the eviction of tenants who harass their neighbours.

Money Insider: Cheaper rates on bank loans don't go far enough

It's not just the high-street retailers that are trying to encourage us to keep on spending. Banks are also getting in on the act with some lower personal loan rates on offer as we kick off 2011.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star