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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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John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
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Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

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peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
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London's New Year's Eve fireworks event is going to be ticketed this year for the first time at £10 a head
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Revellers will have to pay to see New Year's Eve fireworks in London

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona from £949pp
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro from £799pp
Provence from £599pp
Apulia, Lecce and Vieste – Undiscovered Italy from £899pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples from £759
Classical Spain from £539pp
Prices correct as of 12 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week