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

Letter: Fight against Aids

Sir: Dr Alan Stone is right about the importance of research into microbicides to help protect women from the HIV virus (letter, 3 February)

Blow to Chancellor as US snubs his `Marshall Plan' for Africa

The United States dealt a damaging blow to Gordon Brown yesterday, rejecting one of his key proposals to tackle African poverty.

Blow to Chancellor as US snubs his plan for Africa

The United States dealt a damaging blow to Gordon Brown yesterday, rejecting one of his key proposals to tackle African poverty.

Britain asks UN to stop Darfur raids

Britain is pressing for the UN Security Council to take action to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Sudan's Darfur region, despite resistance from other council members, the Secretary of State for International Development said yesterday.

The Week In Westminster: Jonathan Aitken was my legal adviser

WHEN I had to resign as a junior government whip in 1994, Jonathan Aitken wrote to me: "However much outward support you get, it is your own inner soul and strength that will win the comeback battle for you." Sadly, Aitken's ability to give good advice to others was not matched by his willingness to apply it to himself. In the same letter, he continued: "Don't rush into legal proceedings. You can hold a position for months with the line that you are taking legal advice. Suing could be worse than not suing."

Benn Jnr joins father in the House

HILARY BENN is bound for Westminster and a backbench seat alongside his father Tony after winning the Leeds Central by-election early today. But it was the lowest turn-out in by-election history which delivered him there, with a vastly reduced majority.

Benn Jr may join father in House

A HISTORIC father-and-son partnership in the Commons looked certain last night after Hilary Benn was selected as Labour candidate for the Leeds Central constituency.

Election '97: Labour to impose candidates

Labour will impose candidates on three seats where sitting MPs have stood down in the last five days. A panel of the party's National Executive Committee will choose replacements for the members despite claims earlier this week that local branches would be allowed to decide.

Election '97: Dromey off safe seat shortlist

Jack Dromey, an official with the Transport & General Workers' Union and husband of Labour frontbencher Harriet Harman, last night failed to make the shortlist for the safe Labour seat of Castleford and Pontefract, which is vacant following the retirement of Sir Geoffrey Lofthouse.
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Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
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Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
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sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
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The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
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Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
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BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
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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
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little