Now the real economic pain starts: yes, it's 'worse-off Wednesday'

The longest squeeze in British living standards in almost a century intensifies today – which has been dubbed 'worse-off Wednesday' because it marks the beginning of a tax year in which tax increases and benefits and public-sector cuts will add to the misery already experienced by the millions struggling to cope with high inflation and minimal pay rises. Put simply, the 2011-12 fiscal year will be the first full year of Coalition cuts, and the one when the pain begins in earnest.

Nicky Campbell: Don't talk to me about the West Kent Hunt

The first time it happened, it was one of those feelings where your whole life goes before you; a chill, almost like death inside. I couldn't believe I'd said it – such a taboo word.

Police 'kettling' tactic angers protesters

Police risked controversy today as they "kettled" several hundred protesters after clashes during student tuition fee protests.

Clinging on and on the way up: A tale of two fan clubs

Both run by supporters but with wildly differing results on and off the field, Ebbsfleet and AFC Wimbledon meet in the FA Cup tonight. Glenn Moore looks at two new-model outfits

Dartford's Green Army march on to new ground

Britain's first eco-friendly arena will be in the FA Cup spotlight when Port Vale arrive at Princes Park tomorrow

Ruck and Maul: Incident which blinded Quinnell in one eye is investigated by police and WRU

It is not clear yet whether the Welsh Rugby Union's investigation into Llanelli's citing of a stamp during the match at Cross Keys which cost the Scarlets' Gavin Quinnell the sight in his left eye will wait for Gwent police to complete their inquiries into an allegation of assault. In England, the Gravesend player Clarence Harding was blinded in one eye last January by what he alleged was a gouge while playing against Maidstone. Police took evidence but according to Maidstone RFC, who have not disciplined any player, the police concluded there was "insufficient evidence to refer the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service". Nine months on, an RFU disciplinary hearing is pending.

Mother wins NHS gastric band case

A sixteen-stone woman denied gastric band treatment on the NHS has used a judicial review to reverse the decision.

Simon Read: Savers - beware rip-off rates

How many savers have cash in low-paying accounts? I suspect it's millions. Banks and building societies have become notorious for slyly cutting rates on once high-paying accounts, leaving loyal customers getting paltry returns.

21 years for Broadmoor patient who killed two women

A "sadistic" Broadmoor patient was jailed for a minimum of 21 years today after pleading guilty to killing two women more than 12 years ago and attacking two others for sexual kicks.

Health alert as Britain swelters

There were sweltering temperatures in parts of Britain today as the first heat-health alert of the summer came into force.

Church pays out to woman sedated as child

The Church of England has paid "substantial" damages to a woman who claimed she was heavily sedated during her time at a children's home, it was disclosed today.

Warm weather set to stay for most of UK

Much of the UK will stay very warm this week after the country sweltered on its hottest day of the year.

Britain hotter than the Med

Soaring temperatures provided the perfect excuse to spend a day at the beach as Britain sweltered on the hottest day of the year so far.

Pair admit £1m house repairs con

Two men admitted swindling more than £1 million out of people by conning them into paying for costly and unnecessary building work to their homes when they appeared in court today.

Bruma gives perfect riposte to Devine intervention

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Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
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Voices
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people
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Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker