News George Osborne has been accused of burying a 'stealth cut' in the Autumn statement

More than three million low-income families risk missing out on the economic recovery even if wages start to keep pace with inflation, according to an analysis for The Independent.

Two-year ban for shot putters

British shot putters Jamie Stevenson and Kieren Kelly have been banned for two years following their refusal to undertake an out-of-competition test at Loughborough University in January. The pair admitted the charge brought by UK Anti-Doping and accepted the ban which starts from 8 February.

Cost of living soars for low earners

People on low incomes are increasingly struggling to get by because of soaring inflation, research suggests.

Rooney strides to athletics success

A rousing victory for England, and one for Rooney too. Following in the footsteps of Hannah England, a winner of the women's 1500m final on Saturday, Martyn Rooney strode to an emphatic success in the final of the men's 400m on the third and concluding day of the Aviva European Trials and UK Championships. In stark contrast to his celebrated namesake out in Bloemfontein earlier yesterday, the 6ft 5in Croydon Harrier made his presence felt here on the north side of Birmingham. He made his considerable talent felt too, showing the sparkling kind of form with which he may well strike gold at the European Championships in Barcelona next month.

Shahzad is called in for Sidebottom

Ajmal Shahzad has been added to the England one-day squad as cover for Ryan Sidebottom, who has suffered a hamstring strain.

Athletics: Ennis's hope of British record washed out but victory proves sweet

Like Neil Finn and Crowded House, Jessica Ennis is on tour in Europe. Unfortunately for the Sheffield heptathlete, she has not brought the weather with her.

Bright start to season keeps Ennis on track for heptathlon glory

It was just an hour's drive for Jessica Ennis yesterday, a 57-mile hop from Sheffield to the Paula Radcliffe Track on the outskirts of Loughborough. There are still 795 days to go before the South Yorkshirewoman carries the nation's hopes into the Olympic arena down the M1 in London. The one-eyed mascots are in place and work has started on the running track and the in-field at the 2012 stadium. In the meantime, Ennis is keeping encouragingly ahead of schedule in her quest to present as a talismanic home figure for the main track and field arena.

Britain's little big shot proves size isn't everything

Sophie Hancock is a dwarf and proud of it, but expect her to walk tall at the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester this week

Ruck and Maul: Segregating fans isn't an option. This is a different brawl game

The hoary old holier-than-thou argument has been thrown at rugby union following the incident at Leeds which has led to Worcester players Chris Cracknell and James Collins facing an RFU disrepute charge on Tuesday. A couple of football writers cited the Harlequins fake-blood fiasco when accusing the oval-ball game of going easy on cheating and misbehaviour while looking down their noses at footie. This despite the Quins case ending with a coach given a three-year ban and a player suspended for four months for faking injury (yes, faking injury – if football did the same, there'd be no one left in a couple of weeks). True, Cracknell was "only" fined and suspended for two weeks by his club for the post-match fight on the Headingley touchline but this could amount to a dismissal if his contract is not renewed. And he and Collins face further sanction now from an RFU panel chaired by Judge Jeff Blackett, who banned Toulouse's Trevor Brennan for life (reduced to five years on appeal) for climbing into the crowd and punching an Ulster supporter in 2007. Will Blackett be lenient? Reports suggested the Worcester fracas was confined to the two players and their dads so, while being unacceptable, wasn't it fundamentally different to a player attacking a random member of the crowd? Rugby remains wary of starting down the road to football's segregation of fans and cutting them off from players.

Love not money drew me from land of my birth, says Kieswetter

Whatever the reasons, no matter how plausible the explanations, there will be something distinctly odd about the World Twenty20 match here this afternoon. Nominally, England are playing South Africa in a Super8 match to decide which of them has the best cricketers on the day in this form of the game.

Edgbaston stays Labour against odds

Labour held the key seat of Birmingham Edgbaston against all odds last night, despite losing several other constituencies across the Midlands.

As seats start to tumble, Labour looks to deal with Lib Dems for salvation

Labour chiefs were preparing to try to broker a power-sharing deal with the Liberal Democrats as Britain headed for a hung parliament.

Fly Me to the Reverend Moon, Radio 4<br/>The Essay: Running The World, Radio 3

Moonies were odd &ndash; until seals began running marathons

House doctor: Can we say no to our fussy buyer without losing the sale?

Question: We're midway through our home sale but have run into trouble. The buyer is making a lot of surprise demands via his solicitor – can the fridge and freezer be left behind; can the carpets be professionally cleaned; can we make sure the property is insured before completion? I'm terrified of losing the sale, it's taken an age to find a buyer. Can I say no without scaring him off? Carolyn Connor, Loughborough

Halsall goes back-to-back in retaining crown

World Championship silver medallist Fran Halsall experienced an intense few minutes which saw her retain her 100 metres freestyle title before making a hasty return to the pool to qualify for the 100m butterfly final at the British Gas Swimming Championships in Sheffield last night.

Adlington eases into final as Jackson suffers

Double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington eased into the final of the 800metres freestyle as she dominated the event on the third morning of the British Gas Swimming Championships here yesterday.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us