Voices

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

Benefits 'to be replaced by universal credit'

Millions of welfare claimants are set to have their benefits scrapped and replaced with a single "universal credit", it was reported today.

Clean Cookstoves: Tackling a burning issue

Fumes from cooking kill two million people each year in the developing world. But will changing behaviour also help the environment? By Alice-Azania Jarvis

Leading article: Strategic self-interest

With spectacularly poor timing, senior officers of the Army and Royal Navy have chosen the week in which the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain is commemorated to suggest that the Royal Air Force should be abolished.

Julian Knight: Mr Hoban, please stop the savings carousel

The minister’s call for new simplistic products is not original, but can he make a real difference this time?

Your dream house could be within reach – if you're willing to get your hands dirty

From sun pipes to heat pumps, it's never been a better time to become an eco-builder. By Virginia Matthews

David Prosser: Justice at last for Equitable Life victims?

Outlook One announcement made by the coalition yesterday that should be universally welcomed – assuming it is to be taken at face value – is the promise to offer the victims of the Equitable Life scandal a better deal. Whatever one's views about the performance generally of the previous Labour administration, its failure to do the right thing by Equitable savers was shameful.

Aviva's quarterly sales top market hopes

A recovering appetite among British and European investors boosted Aviva's performance over the first quarter of the year, with the insurer topping forecasts with a smaller-than-expected decline in sales.

The Week Ahead: Intercontinental to find room for optimism

Analysts have their fingers crossed ahead of tomorrow's quarterly update from Intercontinental Hotels Group, with the hospitality specialist expected to report improving trends in Asia and the US.

ISA providers face consumer super-complaint

A consumer group made a super-complaint against ISA providers today, claiming that savers were losing out on up to £3 billion of interest because of the way the market operated.

Savings: Automatic increase in ISA threshold will benefit millions

For the first time since ISAs were introduced in 1999, the maximum amount of money that can be paid in is to rise automatically each year. The Chancellor had already announced an increase from 6 April in the amount that can be saved in an ISA each tax year from £7,200 to £10,200 – half of which can be held in cash– but his move to automatically uprate ISA thresholds by the rate of inflation came as a bit of a surprise.

IRA finally admits to man’s 'execution'

Almost 40 years after the disappearance of Belfast man Joe Lynskey, republicans have finally admitted he was “executed and buried” by the IRA.

Tories unveil benchmarks to judge economic success

Shadow chancellor George Osborne today set out eight benchmarks against which voters would be able to judge a Tory government's success on the economy.

David Prosser: Another black day for anyone with savings

Outlook Back in the good old days, before the credit crunch and the recession, the occasional announcement of an interest rate cut would prompt mortgage borrowers to turn to their calculators with glee as they worked out by how much their repayments would come down. Meanwhile, Britain's savers – who comfortably outnumber the borrowers – looked on ruefully.

Independent Appeal: Meeting with the enemy

An innovative group in Northern Ireland is attempting to heal old wounds by bringing former foes together

The Sketch: When goodbye seems to be the longest word

What a long goodbye it is. There are six months to go but the committee has started its farewells. They've had over a decade together and now they await the deluge. Some will be standing down, others put down. Some will be promoted, others discarded. Meanwhile, we are entering the pre-election period of nothing happening.

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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
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor