Tony Blair planting a tree in 2002 in Alexandra township, one of the poorest in Johannesburg

Exclusive: Ministers rebuff Tony Blair over Africa charity funding

The International Development Secretary Justine Greening rejects ex-PM’s request for money to support work of foundation

David Cameron is increasingly making use of brief, filmed statements that avoid questions, which are masterminded by Craig Oliver, pictured

Downing Street hogs the remote control: The PM's use of tame media is annoying the big guns at Sky, ITN and the BBC

Britain's senior political television journalists are at war with Downing Street over what they see as attempts by David Cameron to bypass them and use less critical media outlets to broadcast policies to the public.

Dressed to thrill: Meera Syal and Nina Wadia in the BBC sketch show 'Goodness Gracious Me'

The week in radio: Culture-clash comedy can still raise a smile

Regular Radio 4 listeners will already know The Reunion, the programme that has been picking at old scabs and offering moist-eyed snapshots of times gone by since 2006. It's about revisiting crowning glories and ghastly calamities of old, with the wonderful, and sometimes awful, benefit of hindsight. Like Desert Island Discs, it has a distinct format: a group of people are brought together to recall a shared moment in their lifetimes. Unlike DID, however, there is more scope for sadness, for joy, or for sheer, red-faced fury.

Sir Bob Kerslake will be replaced as Head of the Civil Service – but not yet

Death rattle of the mandarins?

Reform is coming to the Civil Service, but some worry it will harm more than help

Tony Blair slaps down David Cameron over lobbying claims

Tony Blair has slapped down David Cameron for suggesting that the former prime minister used his position to lobby him – possibly for private clients.

Union leader Bob Crow seeks to form new 'working class party' to replace Labour

Bob Crow, the RMT general secretary, will seek to exploit Labour’s wranglings with trade unions by urging the movement to break ties with Ed Miliband and create a party that “speaks for working people”.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of moors murderer Ian Brady appearing via video link at Manchester Civil Justice Centre

Moors murderer Ian Brady breaks his silence after 47 years: 'I killed for the existential experience'

75-year-old breaks 47-year silence as he tells mental health tribunal of mixing with criminals from Krays to Great Train Robbers and IRA terrorists

Richard Scudamore

So, Mr Scudamore, how do you feel about Premier League fans being priced out of the market?

A march on Premier League headquarters over ticket prices took place yesterday

Top sports agent with links to Premier League star Ashley Cole and rapper Jay Z was cleared of murder

A top sports agent with links to Premier League star Ashley Cole and rapper Jay Z was cleared at the Old Bailey today of murdering an 18-year-old man in a “revenge” attack over a stolen BlackBerry phone.

Mauroy in 1989; after being ousted as PM, he continued his career as mayor of Lille

Pierre Mauroy: Socialist leader of France in the '80s

When Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were establishing the global mood music of the monetarist, greed-is-good 1980s, Pierre Mauroy sought to make France dance to a different tune. As the first Socialist Prime Minister of the Fifth Republic (1981-84) and first prime minister of the François Mitterrand era, Mauroy pursued a policy of nationalisation, taxation of the rich, increased minimum wages, retirement at 60 and a 39-hour working week.

The EDL and Islamic extremists are two different problems - but the solution is the same

The root cause that separates people in any society is ignorance leading to fear of unknown. We must use the knowledge of local communities at a national level

Prime Minister David Cameron looks over the River Thames estuary from the top of a 138m high quay crane at the new London Gateway container port (PA)

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: The only way is Essex - and David Cameron hits the superport's heights to show why

Possibly to illustrate the point that “Britain’s role in the world” is very much a work in  progress these days, David Cameron made a speech about it on a building site.

Andy McSmith's Diary: The wages of spin are … unreliable, so pitch for the next job

In this country, you can be forgiven if the name John McTernan rings no bells.

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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
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?