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Former staff of a development quango were sent for patchwork, pottery and jewellery-making lessons at taxpayers’ expense, an investigation has found.

Retail collapses hurt shopping malls giant

The woes of Game Group added to the headaches of the UK's biggest shopping centres owner yesterday as occupancy levels were hit by a wave of struggling retailers going to the wall.

Shopping mall giant hit by bust stores

The troubles of retailers like Game added to the headaches of the UK's biggest shopping centres owner yesterday as occupancy levels were hit by a wave of tenants going under.

'We have the best opportunity on Earth to put culture and art at the heart of the games,' says Tony Hall

Tony Hall: The man with a front row seat in our arts establishment

From the Royal Opera House to C4 and the Cultural Olympiad, Tony Hall discusses his rewarding roles with Ian Burrell

Threat to Cameron's Big Society as cuts take toll on charities

Citizens Advice Bureaux face closure as funding withdrawn

Carphone's Best Buy deal at risk as losses rise

Carphone Warehouse's foray into "Big Box" stores through its Best Buy UK partnership has been thrown into doubt after losses surged and managers admitted they were "evaluating" the future of the chain.

Mary Ann Sieghart: Trouble is, David shares Ed's faults

I have a suspicion things would be only marginally different had the Labour leader's brother been in charge of the party

Will Hawkes: Too much INXS and plenty of Floyd adds up to a tedious gig

View From The Sofa: Cricket AM, Sky Sports 1

Miliband hails Labour's election gains

Ed Miliband today hailed Labour's election performance, denying he was disappointed with the results.

Labour aiming for Clegg powerbase

Nick Clegg's political powerbase of Sheffield is among the prizes being eyed up by Labour as it seeks a resurgence in local elections on May 5.

Best Buy in £19m Belgian chain sale

Best Buy Europe, the joint venture between Carphone Warehouse and US electricals giant Best Buy, is to sell its 83-store Belgian chain for €22m (£19.38m) to Belgacom, the country's largest telecommunications firm.

Inside travel: Olympic London

London 2012 tickets are now up for grabs. Simon Calder reveals the travel options

JJB to landlords: halve our rent or we will close

Retailer launches second restructuring scheme in two years

Northern furniture chain to make southern debut

Northern furniture retailer CSL is to make its southern debut at a former Borders shop near Brent Cross in north London.

Dover set sail for new Cup venture buoyed by Birchall's goals

Competition's top scorer this season gives the Kent town hope in their first third-round appearance
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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones