News High ideals: Labour has built around 400 homes in each of its local authority areas since the election

Conservative councils build only half as much affordable and social housing

£100m pledged to insulate homes

Alistair Darling today announced an extra £100 million to help tens of thousands of families insulate their homes in a move to cut emissions and reduce energy bills.

Michael McCarthy: A minister rooted in the natural world

Nature Notebook

Last Night's TV: Slick moves among the oily characters

If you've watched any polemical thrillers at all, you'll know that they generally keep at least one wide-eyed innocent to hand, so that the sort of information that would go without saying for the main protagonists actually can get said aloud at some point. The ignorance of this character is a proxy for ours, a representative cluelessness that allows us to be told what we need to know.

Hilary Benn: You Ask The Questions

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs answers your questions, such as 'What's your least green habit?' and 'Do you ever wish your last name wasn't Benn?'

Government rules out badger cull

The Government today ruled out a cull of badgers to tackle the rising toll of TB in cattle.

Farmers threaten court action if badger cull is abandoned

Farmers have threatened legal action if the Government decides not to allow a cull of badgers to tackle tuberculosis in cattle.

Nice work if you can get it: MPs keep their perks

MPs defied public outcry last night and threw out attempts to curb their generous second home allowances and rejected calls for tough new external audits on their claims.

CO2 emissions up by nearly a fifth in 12 years

Carbon dioxide emissions caused by UK consumers increased by almost a fifth between 1992 and 2004, research revealed today.

What happened next to Cumbria's nuclear dump 'bribe'?

Cumbria last week took the first steps towards volunteering to be the site of Britain's first underground nuclear dump, in return for a hefty government "bribe".

The eco-crunch: Can Britain still afford to go green?

The housing market is in decline, fuel costs are soaring – and the worst may be yet to come for the global economy. It’s little wonder that politiciansare backing away from electorally unpalatable green policies. Paul Vallely investigates the hard choices facing consumers and environmentalists

Knobbly fruit and veg back on menu as EU plans to scrap uniformity laws

For years, the bent cucumber – alongside its maligned compatriot, the straight banana – has been wielded by Eurosceptics eager to clobber the European Union. But Brussels bureaucrats are to usher in a new age of acceptance when it comes to knobbly fruit and vegetables, scrapping the rules dictating that only straight cucumbers can be sold in shops as "class one" fruit.

Brown says world needs 1,000 extra nuclear power stations

Gordon Brown has signalled he wants Britain to play a major role in the race to build an extra 1,000 nuclear power stations across the world as part of his vision for ending the global "addiction to oil". The Prime Minister, who will be flying to Saudia Arabia for an emergency oil summit next week, said in spite of the risks of terrorism, Africa could build nuclear power plants to meet growing demands for energy.

Schoolgirl politician: Emily Benn explains why she's standing for parliament

Emily Benn, 18, is sitting her A-levels – and standing for Labour at the next General Election. She talks to Toby Green about why she wants to follow her grandfather into the Commons

Terence Blacker: Let's take a look at life in our own backyard

Fewer picture of polar bears are needed, and more of bees and dragonflies
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
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?