Voices Little security: rents are the biggest factor in the cost of living crisis

If we don't like rich landlords then we can raise taxes on the rich generally, but it will be a brave politician who suggests it

Danish distraction is why G4S is still in a right old mess

This can't be allowed to continue. It is time for the regulators to get a handle on it

Sean O'Grady: Life will be longer, but poorer as we don't produce enough to pay for public services

The longer, healthier lives the British can expect to lead will not always be happier, or at least as prosperous, as we might wish to assume – and the public services we have come to enjoy and take for granted will have to change as they grow less affordable.

Newly elected leader of BMA seeks urgent talks with health minister over strike threat

The newly elected leader of the British Medical Association is seeking urgent talks with the Government after doctors unanimously voted for further industrial action if pension negotiations are not re-opened.

HMRC workers strike over job cuts

Tax offices were closed today and calls to telephone inquiry lines were met with a recorded announcement because of a strike by tens of thousands of Revenue and Customs (HMRC) workers.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS, claims that £120billion was lost last year in tax avoidance but HMRC didn't have enough resources to tackle the problem

Tax office workers to strike tomorrow in 'massive cuts' protest

Over 50,000 Revenue and Customs workers will go on strike tomorrow in protest at "massive cuts" they claim undermined efforts to clamp down on tax avoidance schemes.

Billions to flow from PFI reform

Treasury hopes new private finance initiative will see pension funds act like banks

Laurie Penny: Shame has become our stick for beating the poor

Single mother Shanene Thorpe was squeezed by the BBC into a caricature: shameless scrounger

Google opposed to government proposals to introduce filters blocking internet pornography

Google has said it is opposed to government proposals to introduce filters blocking internet pornography because they will amount to censorship and risk encouraging lazy parenting online.

20,000 off-duty police officers join strike

More than 20,000 off-duty police officers took to the streets today as they warned that Government cuts are putting public safety at risk.

Police officers to stage protest march in London

Up to 16,000 off-duty officers will don black caps representing each officer expected to be lost under the Government's budget cuts as they take to the streets tomorrow.

Teachers union urges 'resistance' on pay plans

A campaign of “mass resistance” is needed against the Government's plans for regional pay for public sector workers, teachers heard today. .

Verica Barac: Serbian activist who exposed corruption

Verica Barac, who died earlier this month at the age of 56 after a long battle with cancer, was Serbia's most prominent anti-corruption activist and headed the country's Anti-Corruption Council. Barac came to the council's helm in 2003, as a new pro-Western government began to recover from years of wars and international sanctions suffered during Slobodan Milosevic's decade-long rule. She exposed numerous corruption scandals, such as dubious privatisation deals made during the country's transition to a market economy.

According to a new book, increasing numbers of rivers in towns and cities in Britain are now so clean that anglers are fly-fishing in them for trout and grayling, which are specialised clean-water species

Look what’s struggling to swim the Thames now… trout

Previously filthy watercourses are now teeming with fish, a new book reveals

Letters: Road pricing

Do governments learn nothing? Privatising roads will inevitably lead to putting profits for road company shareholders before infrastructure investment, as with utilities and railways. The 1989 water privatisation, meant to sort out 19th-century pipes and sewers, is still nowhere near completion after nearly 25 years.

Contractors would not be able to charge tolls on existing trunk routes, such as the A14

Cameron to fill hole in nation's finances by privatising roads

Firms will be paid to maintain network – and tolls could be round the corner

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'