George Osborne is said to want homes to be built on protected land to boost the economy

Ministers get ready to go for green-belt grab

Conservationists urge the Treasury to rethink, as villages will suffer for no economic benefit

Warren Gatland: Coach is in the final stages of discussing a 10-month deal for tour of Australia

Gatland 'very close' to signing Lions deal

Warren Gatland, the shortest-priced favourite to coach the British and Irish Lions in recent history, is in the final stage of discussions over a 10-month deal that will allow him to devote all his energies to plotting victory over the Wallabies in Australia next summer. The New Zealander already has a long-term contract with Wales running through to the 2015 World Cup and, given the choice, the reigning European champions would not lose their strategist-in-chief for an entire international season. There are, however, clear signs that an agreement has been reached.

New Jersey child agency in spotlight after mother decapitates two-year-old son and fatally stabs herself in the neck

New Jersey's child-welfare agency, long under federal oversight for high-profile lapses, said it will review its role in the case of a mother who decapitated her 2-year-old son and killed herself just five months after regaining custody of the child.

First-time house buyers lose out under proposals to solve rental shortage

Montague report contains controversial trade-off between rentals and affordable homes
Candice Cohen-Ahnine with Prince Sattam, whom she met in London (left), and with her daughter Haya

French woman in custody fight with Saudi Prince dies in fall

Lawyer says 'this was no suicide' as mother was preparing to travel to see her daughter

Last Night's Viewing: Jennifer Saunders: Back in the Saddle, ITV1

Such a pea-souper is the post-Olympic fog that we find ourselves in that we end up mourning the passing of that Great Sporting Event with programming such as this, a two-part investigation into the early-life equestrian talents of a comedian more usually known for mocking the establishment than jumping on its back and riding it around a gymkhana.

A Free Syrian Army sniper in Aleppo

Assad regime 'controls less than a third of Syria', claims former premier

Riad Hijab urges army to defect as rebel forces continue to make gains

EuroMillions lottery winners Adrian and Gillian Bayford say £148m fortune has 'come at just the right time'

“It’s come at just the right time,” says Gillian Bayford of her EuroMillions lottery win, which does beg the question: when is the wrong time to have £148 million land in your bank account?

Invisible Ink: No 136 - Barbara Comyns Carr

The pocket magazine Lilliput is usually considered (if anybody considers it at all anymore) a quirky Bloomsbury amusement for clubbable gentlemen. Each cover featured a man, a woman and a terrier, and inside were tasteful photographs of naked ladies interspersed with fiction from some genuinely superb authors. It was responsible for bringing these writers to wider audiences, one of whom was Barbara Comyns Carr (nee Bayley).

Five-minute Memoir: Natasha Soobramanien on the baked beans that cured her writer’s block

I see now that a writing retreat is productive only if removing yourself from a life so full of distraction that you need the isolation in order to focus on your work. But if you are the kind of writer who doesn't do much of a day to merit this or any other job title, two weeks on a remote Scottish island will not help you chip away at your writer's block.

Home, away: The view from Escondrijo in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain, where you will be cosseted by the owners

Juliet Kinsman: We all want chic on the cheap – but there's usually a trade-off

Don't tell me: you want somewhere super-glamorous. But you don't want to fork out a fortune. Thanks to celebrity overload, we appear to have cultivated A-list sensibilities, then been corrupted by deal-of-the-day offers. Ergo we demand VIP lifestyles on shelf-stackers' pay packets.

Licence to chill: The seawater pool at Dougie's Bar, Jake's Hotel

Jamaica: A birthday party like no other

It's been 50 years since the former British colony gained independence and, says Boyd Tonkin, it's in the mood to celebrate

A Simple Life (PG)

Starring: Andy Lau, Deannie Yip

Eduardo Paes: Olympic challenge

London 2012: Mayor of Rio says he's scared Boris Johnson will 'do something crazy' when he hands over Olympic flag to Brazil

The Olympics may have just begun but Eduardo Paes has already got his eye on the end.

Tom Hodgkinson: 'As a family, we go to festivals. And work'

The Sex Pistols, brilliantly, attacked the holy trinity of the modern economy: work, shopping and holidays, that is, paid employment, consumption and paid-for leisure. In "17", Johnny Rotten sang: "I don't work, I just speed, that's all I need," adding, with pride, "I'm a lazy sod." "Anarchy in the UK" complains that our Queen's "future dream is a shopping scheme", and in "Holidays in the Sun" he sneered at those who take a cheap holiday in other people's misery.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing