News Workers at mail-order company La Redoute protest in Lille against plans to sack 1,200 workers

3.2 million people are working so hard that they risked mental or physical breakdown, study finds

Ed Miliband has backed the introduction of the Living Wage, along with London Mayor Boris Johnson

Living wage for all workers would boost taxes and GDP

Five million people, including three million women, are paid below the living wage

Starbucks is among companies criticised over their tax bill

Large companies paying less tax despite big increase in profits

Britain's biggest companies pay less tax now than they did 12 years ago, it was revealed today, while their profitability over that period has jumped.

PZ Cussons is undaunted by Nigerian storms

Violent religious clashes, an eight-day national strike and flooding failed to dent PZ Cussons' profits during the first half of the year.

Nick Boles wants to build on the greenbelt, but it's too soon for us to admire man-made landscapes

Plus: From Russia with repetition and one actor who isn't showing his age

Postal Service lettercarrier Raymond Hou delivers mail along his route

US postal service posts annual loss of $15.9bn

The US Postal Service on Thursday reported a record annual loss of $15.9 billion in the past fiscal year, prompting renewed calls for Congress to pass legislation to help.

Writers of The Thick of It have been credited with creating the Oxford Dictionaries UK Word of the Year

Omnishambles: the word that sums up the year - official

Writers of The Thick of It have been credited with creating the Oxford Dictionaries UK Word of the Year. ‘Omnishambles’ is defined as “a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterised by a string of blunders and miscalculations”.

Engage with your workers, chiefs urge fellow bosses

A coalition of bosses from Britain's biggest companies, including Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencer and Lloyds Banking Group, have called on industry to better engage their workers.

IoS letters, emails & online postings (11 November 2012)

It is pleasing to see the Labour Party inching towards a stronger policy on the living wage (Ed Miliband exclusive interview, 4 November), but disappointing that the movement is so small. If this is a "central part" of Mr Miliband's vision, then enforcing a living wage clause in Whitehall contracts and "naming and shaming" big companies are rather small steps.

A new survey says half of all American smokers have tried to quit

More than half US smokers have tried to quit

More than half of American smokers tried to quit the habit as the daily use of cigarettes fell, US health officials say.

Revealed: Climate change led to decline of Maya civilisation

One of the world’s great civilisations was forced into terminal decline by successive dry periods culminating in a prolonged drought, according to a study that throws fresh light on the mysterious disappearance of the Maya in Central America around 1,100AD.

Editorial: How to improve life for the 'squeezed middle'

There is a practical aspect, but it is a matter of basic social justice, too

The 'Hangover Patch' being sold by Firebox.com

Hungover? There's a 'cure' for that as detox patch goes on sale

Christmas revellers have been offered a helping hand with an American hangover “cure” that claims to be second only to having an “intravenous stuck in your arm”.

Ed Miliband and Boris Johnson support the Living Wage. Will Whitehall and big firms dare to follow?

A Living Wage encourages people into work, reduces the burden on the taxpayer, and is an effective form of redistribution without recourse to the State. What's not to like?

'Back-office' businesses more upbeat

Fresh signs of optimism for the economy emerged from expectations of a strong quarter from "back-office" support service firms that act as a barometer for corporate Britain.

Anthony Hilton's Week: How being more flexible can mean you’re just another brick in the wall

One of the largest employers and subcontractors of bricklayers said privately the other day that the average pay of one of his skilled craftsmen today was back at the level of 15 years ago. This of course reflects the weak state of the housebuilding market, though it is less weak than it appears at first sight because the detached three-bedroom houses for the middle-aged market, which are the main thing being built at the moment, use a lot more bricks than the high-rise young people’s flats so popular five years ago.

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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
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People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
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Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

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Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

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Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
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2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
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Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas