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

Rescue package 'helps one home in three months'

the Government's £200m mortgage rescue scheme has helped just one household stave off repossession in its first three months of operation, official figures have revealed.

Doubts cast over Darling's promise to find £15bn of savings

Alistair Darling's pledge to slim down Whitehall to help plug the gap in the public finances has been labelled as "smoke and mirrors" after economists and MPs warned the savings would be very hard to achieve and measure.

Every large city should have its own Boris, say the Tories

Voters would be given chance to elect powerful supremo based on London mayor

'Utterly pointless'. Are HIPs breaking the back of the housing market?

As the rules are tightened for home information packs, Julian Knight asks if they can help sellers and buyers

Home repossessions almost double

The number of people who lost their homes nearly doubled during the third quarter of last year, the City watchdog said today.

The new shadow cabinet in full

This is the full membership of the new shadow cabinet announced by the Conservative Party today:

39,000 innocent children on national DNA database

The national DNA database contains the profiles of almost 40,000 innocent children, the Home Office said today.

'Shocking' rise in homelessness among women

Conservative statistics show threefold increase in five years but charities warn the true picture is worse still

Senior Shadow Cabinet figures in row over 'cash for influence'

Senior members of the Shadow Cabinet have been accused of potential conflicts of interest after their offices were shown to be funded by companies that have direct interests in their policy portfolios.

Repossessions hit 16-year high as lenders 'turn to courts first'

The number of home repossessions in England and Wales leapt by 17 per cent during the first three months of 2008, providing further evidence of the depth of the crisis in Britain's housing market.

Stillbirth: Life after loss

Their first baby, Jake, was stillborn. Now Andrew and Rachel Canter want to prevent other parents from suffering the same agonising grief. Esther Walker reports

Ministers come under pressure from Tories over plight of England's 130,000 homeless children

A shortage of affordable housing has left 130,000 children homeless in England this Christmas an increase of 128 per cent in the past decade, according to research by the shadow housing minister Grant Shapps.

More For Your Money: Suffolk

Aldeburgh's literary and musical connections set it apart from other seaside towns

George Best's doctor warns women over binge drinking

George Best's surgeon yesterday warned that increasing numbers of young women risk premature death by drinking to excess. Professor Roger Williams said female drinkers are a third less resilient to the effects of alcohol than men.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada