Anna Bird: Let the Commons put house in order to set an example

Six months since the Davies report, the latest figures reveal that although progress in the boardroom is slow, there has been some. FTSE 100 firms have appointed 18 women to their boards since the Davies report – 31 per cent of the total and well over twice the proportion seen in any previous year.

Venice tests the water with new tourist tax

Visitors to Venice will find an unexpected charge on their hotel bills from tonight as the city becomes the latest destination to launch a tourist tax.

Tory voters believe cuts should only be temporary

Just 31 per cent believed it was vital the Government cut spending and reduce taxes

Leading article: Cutting all means of support

David Cameron has always placed charities at the centre of his vision of the Big Society. Yet new research by the False Economy website shows that more than 2,000 charities are facing deep budget cuts. Many are likely to go to the wall. As we report today, Citizens Advice Bureaux – which provide advice and support to some two million people a year – are being particularly hard hit.

Leading article: History must live

No area of public services is safe from cuts, but a suspicion persists that "softer" targets are bearing the brunt disproportionately. The assault on public libraries is an example of the Government targeting a service which, while outwardly non-essential, in fact has the potential to be at the heart of any Big Society.

Christina Patterson: I want value for money for my taxes

It's important because the things it's talking about are things like what treatment you get if you have cancer

PM accused over public services

David Cameron was accused yesterday of "smuggling out" plans to break apart public services as he pressed ahead with moves to open them up to private competitors.

Competition plan for state services unveiled

Almost all of public sector services are to be opened up to competition from the private and voluntary sector, Prime Minister David Cameron announced today.

Key 'Big Society' plan for public services unveiled

The Government will unveil today watered-down proposals to devolve more power over public services to local communities and John Lewis-style "mutual" companies.

Cameron to unveil John Lewis-style public services

White paper heralds huge shake-up for public sector

Suicide rates rise as debt and cuts take their toll

Suicide rates have risen sharply across Europe since the banking crisis as people struggle to cope with debt, unemployment and public service cuts.

VAT man clamps down on tax dodgers

A clampdown on tax dodgers was launched today as traders who have failed to register to pay VAT were given a chance to come forward.

Steve Richards: Dilnot is planning for our future. Can the Coalition?

Various governments have commissioned reports on elderly care on the assumption something must be done. But when they are published, nothing much happens

In pictures: Protesting pupils

No one is saying that parents didn't have their hands (more than) full yesterday, when a nationwide teachers' strike left thousands of children from 12,000 schools in need of baby-sitting for the day. But, for some precociously political tots, a bit of public sector striking was transformed into a fun-filled family day out – one with a serious message, of course.

Nick Clegg to unveil localism pledges

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will today promise to make communities "masters of their own economic destinies" by handing them more power over spending.

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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker