Voices

Despite overwhelming evidence there is still continuing reluctance from politicians to accept just how useless short prison sentences are

Budget 2013: George Osborne extends public sector pay freeze

Wage rises would be limited to an average of up to 1% in 2015/16

Bloody Sunday offer 'an insult'

The authorities have offered compensation to the families of 13 people shot dead in Bloody Sunday in 1972 and to those who were injured in the incident, it has emerged.

Marsh: 'Obviously, I am completely against any form of terrorism'

An explosive reaction to Jodie Marsh's 'Semtex' weight-loss pills

Oh Jodie, love. While we would defend anyone’s right to cover themselves with eclectic tattoos, dye their hair nuclear scarlet and get into spats with Katie Price, she has made something of a slip-up when it comes to branding. Marsh has released a weight-loss aid called – wait for it – Semtex. Like the plastic explosive used by the IRA.

People with autism are ready to work - but this programme isn't helping

Just 15 per cent of those who have the condition are employed

Editorial: Only the beginning of a pensions revolution

The concept of employees needing to opt out of saving for their old age, rather than opt in, is indeed a revolutionary one. But although the blandly named "automatic enrolment" scheme that starts today is being heralded by many as the biggest shake-up of the pensions system since Lloyd George set it up, in practice the reforms will make only the smallest dent in Britain's impending pensioner poverty crisis.

Standard Life boosted by pension worries

Scottish firm set for encouraging results after a year of rule changes

Crooks targeting the old in £28m scam

Elderly are being flogged worthless wine and coins, and tempted into dodgy property land-bank deals

How I was taken in by 'Britain's Madoff'

The mastermind in Britain's biggest Ponzi fraud lived like a playboy until his scheme collapsed, leaving a trail of broken lives. Cahal Milmo spoke to one of his victims

Last night's viewing - Racing with the Hamiltons: Nic in the Driving Seat, BBC1; Alex Polizzi: the Fixer, BBC2

Good news for armchair Formula One drivers. Nic Hamilton, brother of the rather more famous Lewis, consistently comes first when they play video racing games. Imagine that. Lewis cheerfully owned up to as much in Racing with the Hamiltons: Nic in the Driving Seat, recalling an occasion on which he'd spent all day beating his younger brother's lap time on a particular track, only to have him come back from school and best it within five minutes. It's the kind of thing that I'm sure has flickered through the fantasies of many callous-thumbed petrol-heads, but the next bit could only happen in meat-space. That's when the former world champion turns to you and says, "You know, you're really good at this. Why not do it for real?"

Investment view: Standard Life's a safe bet but room for improvement

Our view: Hold. Share price: 219.8p (3.1p)

How to solve Britain's growing pension crisis

With life expectancy rising, and cutbacks to public spending, it's time to get a financial plan ready your retirement.

Peer accuses banks of pocketing ISA tax relief

A Tory backbench peer will today accuse the high-street banks of "taking advantage of people" by withholding tax relief on cash ISAs. Baroness Stowell of Beeston will call on the Treasury to get tough on the financial institutions that she says are short-changing savers.

David Prosser: The beginning of the end for the savings market as we know it

Outlook For Standard Life and its rivals in the UK life and pensions sector, the next 18 months will see a phoney war. The real action in this marketplace begins at the end of 2012, when the Financial Services Authority at last implements the recommendations made by its retail distribution review, a process that began five years ago. The most significant of these reforms will be an end to commission payments to independent financial advisers from product providers.

Leading article: The shame in our adoption failures

This is National Adoption Week, and it provides a test for David Cameron's slogan "the Big Society". As we report today, hundreds of children are stuck in temporary foster care because short-term financial pressures on local councils discourage them from paying voluntary agencies to arrange adoptions.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk