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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”.

David Cameron benefits on welfare at Labour’s expense

Only 14 per cent think Ed Miliband could stop payments spiralling out of control, says poll

Labour says the forces should boost in-service training so personnel have more skills when they leave

Labour to offer jobs and care for those leaving armed forces

Labour will today announce plans to improve the lives of servicemen and women when they leave the forces after research found that they cost the state more than £100m a year.

JACK WILSHERE: Gave the ball away far too often and lost his radar in the final third. Did not shy away but never got going. 5/10

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere not at 'full fitness' admits Roy Hodgson

Below par performance against Ukraine blamed on lack of fitness

David Camerson says migrant benefits for non-workers need to be reduced

David Cameron: Curb migrants' benefits

Prime Minister says it is 'absolutely vital' to place restrictions on new member states of the EU

LSD is referenced in songs such as 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' by the Beatles

Hallucinogenic health trip: LSD may not be bad for you, says study

‘Not much evidence’ for long-term problems over the past 50 years, Norwegian researchers conclude

Wentworth Prison and the real-life parallels for locked-up women

The question of why we continue to lock up some of the most vulnerable and damaged women in society for relatively petty offences has yet to be answered

Increased TV viewing, physical activity, video games and diet are all factors that influence children's health

Overload of screen time ‘causes depression in children’

Study claims there is a link between too much television and computer game-playing and lower self-esteem in the young

Young volunteers tidy up the Thames riverbank with the Waterways Trust

Thinking of volunteering on your gap year? Good news, it can help you live longer

It’s official, you get what you give, and the notion of good karma might just have some truth in it. Scientists at the University of Exeter have proved that volunteering can help you live longer, with the risk of dying lessened by more than a fifth.

Chelsea Manning and the pain, but mostly joy, of coming out as transgender

The terrifying scale of coming out to the world is, I suspect, matched by the immense weight that has been lifted off her

Innocent bus driver stabbed in head by screaming woman who 'mistook him for someone else'

Veraty Johnston admitted attacking the driver in front of a packed bus near Norwich

Yelena Isinbayeva

Sport on TV: Football really can give us a positive mental attitude

As the big beast of the Premier League is released from its cage once again, it's all too easy to forget that football is simply about a bunch of boys (or girls) chasing a ball around, not pampered heroes and image rights. Maybe the game can bring out the worst in people but it also provides an escape.

Ryan Harris embodies everything that is required of the perfect team cricketer

Adam Gilchrist on the Ashes: Despite the Ashes defeat Ryan Harris and Chris Rogers have been winners

The Aussie Angle: These thirtysomethings show what is required to be quality Test players

Hayley, Jamal, Adam in Football, Madness and Me, BBC3

TV review: Football, Madness and Me, BBC3 - For Jamal, football is one of the few ways he can be free

For all the glamour of the Premiership, the real thing that gives the Beautiful Game its beauty is the indelible joy of playing the game. From a kick-about in the park to Villa Park, the actual joy of participation tends to outweigh watching others play the game. Which is why – during summer Olympic, cycling, cricketing or tennis glories – it’s frustrating when the behaviour of a few in the upper echelons of the game gives people a stick to beat football with.

The number of detentions under the Mental Health Act is increasing

Mentally ill patients sectioned unnecessarily as 'only way' to a hospital bed

Chair of the Health Select Committee says claims amounted to 'more than anecdotal evidence' and should be urgently investigated by the Department of Health

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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes