House prices are rising at their fastest pace since they hit a peak in 2006

Housing market bounce-back: Property prices rise at fastest rate since 2006 peak

House prices are rising at their fastest pace since they hit a peak in 2006, a new report from surveyors published today shows. Meanwhile the number of would-be buyers looking to enter the market last month saw the strongest growth in four years.

Shift that will keep Tories out of northern cities for years

Benefit changes are likely to ensure no Tory is elected as an MP by a northern city for some time  to come

Dwell founder attacks former management

The founder of Dwell has attacked the failed furniture retailer’s previous management for leaving customers in a “terrible situation”.

The former minerals minister, Ian Macdonald, allegedly passed on inside information

A multi-million-dollar mining licence, a murder suspect and a prostitute called Tiffanie: Australia rocked by inquiry into ex-ministers

Two former New South Wales Labor Party ministers facing potential criminal charges and long jail sentences

Protesters complained that police are using bully boy tactics

Balcombe fracking protesters complain of 'bully boy' tactics

About 10 people were arrested during demo against proposed local oil and gas development

A young Anton DiSclafani with her pony – the author competed in US national competitions

Book review: The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, By Anton DiSclafani

Horses are everything for a Southern teenager sent away to camp after offending her family in this sultry tale set during the Great Depression

Royal Mint to mark birth of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby by giving away silver pennies at an estimated cost of £50,000

The penny, which will be presented in a pink or blue pouch, has been marked with the year 2013 to commemorate the babies' year of birth

New Qatari emir refuses to ‘take direction’ from anyone

In his accession speech, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, who was handed power by his father on Tuesday in a rare example of a hereditary Arab ruler stepping down, said that the Gulf state would not “take direction” from anyone.

Hotel staff should be treated courteously, something not all guests remember

Twice Bitten – The Untold Story of Holyfield-Tyson II, by George Willis

Whoever said that history is written by the victors can't have been watching the Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on 28 July 1997.

Police rule out foul play over Russian supergrass found dying outside his Surrey mansion

But cause of death not pinpointed despite two post mortem examinations

Michelle Obama told a pro-gay rights heckler:

'You can take the mic but I'm leaving': Michelle Obama confronts gay rights heckler

Michelle Obama confronted a pro-gay rights heckler yesterday at a Democratic party fundraiser, telling her: "You can take the mic but I'm leaving."

Google chairman Eric-Schmidt has rejected claims that the company is not paying their fair share of taxes
Andrew Main Wilson, the new CEO of AMBA

Association of MBAs announces new chief executive

Andrew Main Wilson is to be the new chief executive of AMBA, it has been announced on the first day of the Association's conference in Poland.

Satyajit Das: Alchemists at the courts of rulers foster illusion of perpetual growth

Midweek View: It is not clear how, if at all, printing money or financial games can create real ongoing growth and wealth
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Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
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A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
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Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
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Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
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Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
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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
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape