News A Save the Children organised event at Al Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the Syrian border, last month

The charity defends itself from claim it refrained from criticising its backers

Gigs of the week (08/12/12): Christmas at the Union Chapel, Union Chapel, London N1

One of London's loveliest venues flings open its doors to the seasonal spirit this week, with music, merriment, mince pies and a display of dodgy pullovers on offer over two nights at the Union Chapel.

Save the Children ambassador Myleene Klass models a Christmas jumper

Fashion: 'Twas the knit before Christmas...

Seasonal sweaters have shaken off their comedy image to become really rather stylish – and there's even a charity day devoted to wearing them. It's enough to make you jumper for joy

Child hunger on the increase, says new report

Children in the UK continue to enjoy some of the best standards of living in the world despite a global increase in child hunger, according to research by a leading charity.

Government pledges £1bn to family planning in developing world

The Government will today pledge to donate more than £1 billion to help family planning services in the developing world.

Pregnancy is 'biggest teenage killer worldwide'

Pregnancy is the biggest killer of teenage girls worldwide, a charity has said.

The employment lottery: two recent Cambridge grads' two very different experiences

Contrary to popular belief, a degree from a top university doesn’t guarantee a job after university. Many graduates struggle for months to find gainful employment, filling out endless applications to no avail, with the spectre of their student loan hanging over them.

Delays in seeking treatment 'lead to cancer deaths'

Nearly 40% of people who fear they might have cancer delay visiting a doctor because they are worried about what they will find, according to new research.

280,000 girls accept sex abuse as being normal

As many as 280,000 teenage girls are suffering from sexual abuse because they believe it is an accepted part of relationships or do not believe they can stop it, the NSPCC has warned.

Diary: Archbishop's sermon may cost him a place in The Sun

I hear from someone in a position to know that Lambeth Palace is not pleased with the unusual “Sunday Service” delivered by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, in a column in The Sun on Sunday.

Miller: both Nordoff-Robbins and the BRIT School have reason to thank him

Andrew Miller: Concert promoter and lauded fund-raiser

Nobody buys a concert ticket because of the name of the promoter at the top of the poster or on the ticket. Yet when something goes wrong on a tour or at an outdoor event the promoter often gets the blame – from the paying public, the media and the artists themselves. That this hardly ever happened to the British concert promoter Andrew Miller, during his four decades of putting on the likes of Barry Manilow, Meat Loaf and Nana Mouskouri, is testament to his organisational and personal qualities.

Edinburgh's Forest Fringe branches out

The Forest Fringe is putting down roots in London with a residency at the Gate. The tiny, not-for-profit hub started life in 2007, churning out free, round-the-clock experimental theatre in the Forest Café, just off Bristo Square at the heart of the Edinburgh Fringe. Over five years it has become a crucial stop-off for anyone looking for the next big thing from new work by Bryony Kimmings to Kindle's play/ dinner party held in the back of a van. Last year, Daniel Kitson performed a midnight gig at the cafe that went on until dawn.

Government aims to clear adoption hurdles

The Government is to legislate to ensure that potential adoptions are not blocked purely because the would-be parents are not the same race as the child, Education Secretary Michael Gove announced today.

300 children die every hour of every day because of malnutrition

Special report: The hungry generation

One young child in four around the world is too malnourished to grow properly, a major new investigation reveals

£800m funding for waterways trust

The new “national trust for waterways” will receive £800 million in funding over the next 15 years to help it look after canals and rivers, the Government said today.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform