Letters: Government spending and waste

Backward step for Whitehall

The Timeline: Royal Mail

Fit for a king, 1516

Labour's former Europe minister faces police inquiry over expenses

A former Labour minister has become the latest MP to face a police investigation into his expenses claims after his case was referred to Scotland Yard by Parliament's sleaze watchdog.

'Three times more drivers use mobile at wheel'

The number of motorists admitting they take phone calls and send text messages while driving has tripled in a year, according to an RAC survey.

Israeli soldiers 'shot at children collecting gravel by Gaza border'

The Israeli military has been urged to investigate the recent shootings of at least 12 impoverished Palestinian teenagers and young men collecting gravel in an effort to eke out an income within 800 metres of Gaza’s heavily guarded northern border.

Thousands wasted on credit card minimums

Nearly one in 10 credit card customers pay off only the minimum payment each month, potentially costing them a fortune in interest, according to a survey from comparison website Moneysupermarket.com.

Boring Conference 2010: Chairman of the bored

Having long pondered life's least interesting topics, James Ward has organised a conference to explore them further

Rise in scams adds to problems for tenants

It can be difficult enough dealing with unscrupulous landlords. Now people in rented accommodation are being conned online

Two die in motorway blaze

Police were today investigating the cause of a motorway crash in which a two people died after their car burst into flames.

Family trio sentenced for £500,000 charity fraud

Three family members were sentenced today for defrauding charities of more than £500,000 by applying for funding for spurious projects.

George Pakenham: Man on emissions

Leaving your car's engine running might not seem like a crime. But it is – and an unlikely crusader is taking drivers to task. Sophie Morris hears his story

Man guilty over runaway van deaths

A man whose runaway van killed two young people after he failed to apply the hand brake properly when he parked was today found guilty of causing death by careless driving.

Well heeled: Manolo Blahnik and his left-hand woman

As his exclusive collection for Liberty arrives, Manolo Blahnik talks footwear, films and fabrics with his niece and 'left-hand woman' Kristina. Carola Long listened in

Win £150 of Ryman vouchers to celebrate the launch of their new website with 12.5% off for UCAS & NUS Extra members

After a summer of work or play, you’re now starting to think about going off to university for the first time, or returning to your studies after the holidays. Inevitably there’s a long ‘to do’ list before you start lectures again but there is a way to get it all done quickly and efficiently, leaving you more time for studying and socialising.

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Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
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Life and Style
Fraud contributes 11p to a £2.00 box of half a dozen eggs
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Dejected England players applaud the fans following their team's 3-0 defeat
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Arts and Entertainment
A still from the Jurassic World trailer
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Video: The official full-length trailer for the Jurassic Park sequel has dropped – two days early

Environment
The plant ‘Nepenthes zygon’ was donated to Kew in 2004
environmentNepenthes zygon had been growing for almost a decade and helping to keep down cockroaches
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This artist impression shows a modern-day Atlantis
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Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer snapped celebrities for 40 years - but it wasn’t all fun and games
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Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital