News

The US Federal Reserve said it would continue to reduce its bond buying stimulus program by $10 billion a month and will keep interest rates extraordinarily low for as long as required.

In an interview with The Independent, Rachel Reeves, the shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, revealed a 'tough love' strategy to stop the unemployed staying on the dole for up to three years before their English, maths and computer skills are assessed

Exclusive: Labour will make jobless take maths and English tests

Shadow minister tells ‘The Independent’ those who refuse training will lose benefits

European migrants 'will be denied housing benefit if they are on job-seekers allowance'

People moving to this country from Europe who are unable to find work will be denied housing benefit, according to two senior Conservative cabinet members.

Working single parents who receive a pay rise should also get a cash bonus from the state, recommends Policy Exchange

Tory think-tank recommends cash bonuses for working single parents

Policy Exchange urges immediate action to cut the 650,000 single parent households that are not in any kind of work

The plight of the young and unemployed is truly scary – and this government seems to have no answers

A quarter of long-term unemployed young people have self harmed

Far-right party Golden Dawn is expected to perform well in municipal and European Parliament elections

Just what Greece didn’t need: BNP leader Nick Griffin seeks Golden Dawn alliance

Athens plays centre stage to a worrying political development

Benefits Street: House for sale in James Turner Street, Birmingham

It's the street that’s split opinion all over Britain... and now you can buy your very own house on it.

Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney

Bank of England to hold interest rates at record lows

The Bank of England will hold interest rates at record lows once more today, amid speculation it will have to change the threshold for considering a hike in the cost of borrowing within months.

Jobs market boom sustained by Midlands and the North

The UK economy is creating jobs at its fastest pace in almost four years, according to a new survey, with the strongest growth seen in the Midlands and the North.

Dee and Caitlin from Channel 4's 'Benefits Street'

Thousands sign petition urging Channel 4 to drop Benefits Street

The series has prompted a police probe and complaints from viewers

Eurozone unemployment rate remains stable at 12.1%

Eurozone unemployment was stable in November, prompting some analysts to suggest that the region’s problems might be beginning to abate.

Hundreds of members of staff at a failed provider to the troubled NHS 111 helpline have been given official notice

NHS Direct 111 helpline staff warned of jobs axe

Hundreds of members of staff at a failed provider to the troubled NHS 111 helpline have been told that they face losing their jobs.

Be quick on your feet and check out your gym contract before you get signed up

Savvy Money: Sign up to a gym contract as supple as you aim to be

If your resolution to fight the flab weakens, the only pounds you lose may be in health club bills

Your guide to immigration rhetoric

Checked behind your sofa recently? Don’t - there will probably be a Romanian hiding there.

Unemployed young people feel they have 'nothing to live for'

One in three long-term unemployed young people have contemplated suicide

Teenagers who fail to get five top-grade GCSE passes are more likely to feel “ashamed” and believe they have no talent

Failed exams leave 27 per cent of teens ‘ashamed,’ YouGov survey reveals

Teenagers who fail to get five top-grade GCSE passes are more likely to feel “ashamed” and believe they have no talent, according to research out today.

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Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
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Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
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Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick