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The UK’s benefits and state pension are too low, the Council of Europe said yesterday – a claim that Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith dismissed as “lunacy”.

Leighton Baines pictured during the Merseyside derby which ended 3-3

Everton will not use Leighton Baines lay-off as excuse to open contract talks

The England full-back has been linked with a move to Manchester United

Sebastian Coates in action for Uruguay

Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates refuses to give up hope of playing at the 2014 World Cup

The Uruguay international has been out for most of the season

The Light Roller: A week is a long time in cricket

Diary of a cricket obsessive

Behind the times: Steven Gerrard’s England are still turning their back on change, beaten by teams with better tactics and more technically gifted players

Michael Calvin: England’s ’53 wake-up call still ignored

The Last Word: Anniversary of defeat finds national team still struggling with changed world order

Mitchell Johnson of Australia bats during day one of the First Ashes Test match between Australia and England at The Gabba

Ashes 2013-14: The Aussie Angle - Mitchell Johnson provides one of the few positives

The late coming of Mitchell Johnson – with the bat – has papered over the thick cracks that still race in all directions through the Australian top order.

Male victims of rape, sexual abuse and depression: Breaking the silence on International Men's Day

Those who mock today are mocking victims of a viciously gendered society

Rivers Pound has to pay an additional £120 for his 'spare' bedroom

The kidney patient subject to bedroom tax - even if room is used for dialysis machine

Plight of MP’s brother raises questions about fairness of controversial welfare reform

The number of detentions under the Mental Health Act is increasing

Stop using police cells for those experiencing mental health-related emergencies

If you’d just had a heart attack you’d never be held in a custody

‘We believe in David Cameron. He is God!’ PM mobbed by crowds on visit to Sri Lanka - but can he help?

Carry on in Colombo: Tamils have high expectations from the Prime Minister

Channel 4's ‘Bedlam’ is right to expose the tough reality of severe mental illness

We must ensure that our desire to protect vulnerable people from media exploitation doesn’t result in censorship of mental health issues

David Cameron insists that squeeze on public-sector spending is permanent

Prime Minister outlines vision of money-saving, slimmed-down government after 2015 election

Wikileaks, Bitcoin and Raspberry Pi named by UK trust for promoting 'inspiring social change'

Projects covered a range of areas including "social exclusion", "access to knowledge" and "civic empowerment"

UK Sale: £1.2bn... UK Tax: £0

National Living Wage Week: How can big companies, earning big profits, keep paying such little wages?

This isn't about paying people to subsidise extravagant lifestyles. Far from it

Sweet shop owner fined £400 for selling 30p Asda chocolate as £3 Wonka bars

Alexander Gwillym had tried to register his product as 'Mr Wonka Bar' rather than 'Wonka Bar'

Andrea Sutcliffe: 'I think of it as the Mum test: is it good enough for my Mum? If not, we need to do something'

CQC chief: I’ll open up care home inspections to the public'

League tables also to be introduced as part of moves to overhaul the regulation of adult care

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The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
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News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
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In other news ... Jon Snow performed at last year's Newsroom's Got Talent charity event
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Life and Style
Text messaging changes as a relationship evolves
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The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
peopleComedian's quip about Reeva Steenkamp was less than well received at music magazine awards
Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Real Madrid
football
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peoplePerformer had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer
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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?