Vince Cable has decided against a ban on zero- hour contracts as some workers need flexibility

Government plans ban on exclusive 'zero hours' contracts – but stops short of outlawing completely

Move follows growing criticism of the controversial contracts, which do not ensure a minimum number of hours

Lord Mackenzie and Lord Laird will not be able to sit in the House of Lords for months

Two peers suspended from the House of Lords after offering to do paid work for undercover reporters

Lord Mackenzie and Lord Laird both face temporary bans after being caught by Sunday Times journalists

Following a review into seven day care, hospitals that do not provide the same standard of care at the weekend as during the week will be fined

Have senior doctors work at weekends or face huge fines, hospitals told

The days of hospitals relying on junior doctors at the weekend are numbered, the director of NHS England has said

Visual aid: some artists have said that their work can reduce stress and help patients to heal

Cash-poor NHS spends millions on art - despite cuts that led to thousands of job losses

As one trust boasts of being the biggest art gallery in town, campaigners object to art purchases worth up to £5m

Belfast bomb in Cathedral Quarter 'could have killed or injured anyone near'

Bomb exploded in a busy area of Belfast City

General Motors to halt production in Australia

GM subsidiary Holden is set to stop production in Australia by the end of 2017

Helle Thorning-Schmidt: Who is David Cameron and Obama's 'selfie' pal?

The Danish PM became an overnight internet sensation after her ‘selfie’ at Mandela’s memorial went viral

A brief history of student protest: From 'no women at Cambridge' in 1897 to 'cops off campus' in 2013

Student activists today are standing on the shoulders of giants

A demonstration organized by Anonymous group was held to protest against the austerity measures adopted by the governement - some people in the crowd also feel at odds with political parties

$183,000 fine for man who joined Anonymous attack for 'one minute'

The attack succeeded in taking a website operated by the controversial Koch Industries company offline for just 15 minutes

Royal Mail agrees 9% pay rise with unions

Royal Mail workers will receive a three-year pay rise worth around 9% and legally-binding employment protections under a "landmark" agreement.

New NHS figures have revealed a surge in numbers of middle-aged patients admitted to A&E because of drug or alcohol

Middle-aged drinking and drug-taking leads to surge in hospital admissions

New NHS figures have revealed a surge in numbers of middle-aged patients admitted to A&E because of drug or alcohol.

Karen Whitefield, a former Labour MSP, has been selected as the party’s 2015 general election candidate in Falkirk, the constituency at the centre of multiple controversies

Labour selects Karen Whitefield as Falkirk candidate

Karen Whitefield, a former Labour MSP, has been selected as the party’s 2015 general election candidate in Falkirk, the constituency at the centre of multiple controversies.

Hewlett-Packard plans to axe 1,124 jobs in UK

Computer giant Hewlett-Packard is set to cut more than 1,000 jobs in the UK as part of a global downsizing, the company announced today.

Royal Mail and union leaders reach deal averting Christmas strike

A proposed deal has been agreed between the Royal Mail and union leaders averting the risk of a Christmas strike.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: It seems the class of 2013 could do better

Michael Gove is addicted to taunting post-New Labour about Tony Blair

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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