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
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Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
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