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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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