The big names of a 'big society'

David Cameron, backed by Nick Clegg, promised a new era of people power as he outlined plans to turn his vision of a "big society" into a reality.

Father jailed for trying to kill baby son

A father was jailed today for 10 years for trying to kill his weeks-old baby by smothering him and poisoning him with powerful painkillers.

Election 2010 Home Front: 'Who will I vote for? Same as my mum, I suppose'

<i>The Independent</i> has sent its writers back to their home towns to test the pre-election mood. Paul Vallely is struck by the prevailing apathy in his native North-east

How to turn election night into a money-maker

Amid coverage of televised leaders' debates and party political posters, people often don't realise that elections have another side: an opportunity to earn money. Elections are labour intensive, requiring thousands of poll clerks, all of whom can earn a tidy sum on election night.

Paul Rodgers: He will rock you

He is best known for singing the lead vocals on Free's 1970 hit All Right Now and Paul Rodgers tells John Walsh that he still enjoys being in the spotlight 40 years on

Man in court over divorce party murder

A man was facing trial today accused of killing his ex-wife who was stabbed to death as she prepared to host her divorce party.

Doctor Ashok Kumar: Scientist and MP whose specialist knowledge proved invaluable in Parliament

Ashok Kumar was first and foremost a scientist and secondly a politician. In fact, with the arguable exception of Dr Ernest (Nick) Davies, the Manchester University physicist who represented Manchester Stretford between 1966 and 1970, I cannot think of any MP in my time (1962-2005) as qualified in science – or, indeed, since the distinguished fellow of the Royal Society, Professor A.V. Hill, who represented the University of Cambridge and won a Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1922, and quit the Commons in 1945.

Ashok Kumar 'died from natural causes'

Labour MP Ashok Kumar, who was found dead in his home, died from natural causes, police said today.

MP Ashok Kumar found dead

Tributes were paid to the Labour MP Ashok Kumar today after he was found dead at his constituency home. Anxious staff raised the alarm after being unable to contact Dr Kumar, 53, who was only the fifth Asian to be elected to Parliament since the Second World War.

Woman jailed for 32 years for torture murder

A mother of four, who tortured her partner to death with the help of both her brother and boyfriend, was jailed for life today and told she must serve a minimum term of 32 years.

Primary colours: Ellsworth Kelly's unseen early drawings

An exhibition of Ellsworth Kelly's unseen early drawings shows one of America's finest abstract artists taking his first steps on the road to greatness.

Bail hostel firm could be axed in wake of murder

A company which runs bail hostels has been put on probation after a resident was brutally murdered.

Boy, 10, is found hanging in woods

The death of a 10-year-old boy who was found hanging in woods appeared to be a "tragic accident", police said.

Alex McRae

Following Ivan Ponting's excellent obituary of Alex McCrae (17 October), writes Tam Dalyell, could I add that during National Service basic training at Catterick camp, the first time we were allowed out after our six weeks' call-up was to go to Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough, where we saw Middlesbrough 3 Burnley 3 in December 1950? That afternoon McCrae was on the same level as Wilf Mannion and Burnley's Jimmy McIlroy.

Third academy declared 'inadequate' by Ofsted

A £30m school created under the Government's flagship academy scheme has been given an "inadequate" rating by Ofsted following a visit by inspectors in July, making it the third such school to be placed in special measures. The verdict will come as a significant blow to Labour, particularly given that the school it replaced was not said to have been failing.

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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
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health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own