News

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”.

Kier wins contract to build new Broadmoor

The construction company Kier is to build a new £115m high-security home for notorious murderers including the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe.

Iain Duncan Smith is facing criticism that Universal Credit leaves some families worse off

Working families will be ‘worse off’ under Universal Credit scheme

Some working families will be worse off under Iain Duncan Smith's flagship Universal Credit - even though it was intended to encourage people back into work, according to research published today.

Hundreds of thousands of carers will be promised new rights in the Queen’s Speech as the number of elderly and vulnerable people being looked after by family members continues to soar

The Government has no idea how cuts are impacting on disabled people - and no intention of measuring

Today Labour's Liam Byrne is demanding that the Government carry out a cumulative impact assessment to find out how welfare reforms are really affecting families

Premiership backs proposal for globally integrated rugby season

IRPA proposals given approval

Emergency hotline should be set up for depressed footballers at risk of suicide, says PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle

PFA and FA to hold urgent talks with Premier League and Football League to improve support for players suffering mental illness

Former BBC reporter Russell Joslin

BBC reporter threw himself under bus after 'cover-up' over harassment allegations he made against colleague

Family said BBC managers did too little to help when he contacted them to address the concerns

Stuart Broad says he is '100 per cent fit' for the Ashes

The Ashes: Stuart Broad backs fitness - but record raises fears

Fast bowler confident of playing at Trent Bridge next week following shoulder injection

Lord Freud: 'Food from a food bank is by definition a free good and there's almost infinite demand'

Food banks row: Bishop of Truro hits back at Lord Freud

'A lot of evidence some people have to use them because of benefits system glitches'

England in comfort zone in Essex Ashes warm-up mismatch

England's Ashes warm-up match lost its first-class status halfway through the third afternoon at Chelmsford to allow Boyd Rankin and Reece Topley to bolster Essex's injury-depleted attack.

James Horwill’s foot was said only to have glanced Alun Wyn Jones

Lions Tour 2013: Stamp ban storm hits Wallabies' Test hopes

IRB appeals James Horwill 'let-off' and replaces Kiwi hearing judge with British-Canadian

The Chancellor has suggested that after the next election, the Tories would make further welfare cuts rather than raising taxes

Spending Review: Chancellor George Osborne hints Tories would make further welfare cuts rather than increase taxes after next election

While respected fiscal think tank criticises George Osborne's decision to continue the freeze on council tax

The limits of the cuts are being reached

Rules of state spending are being reconsidered

The limits of the cuts are being reached – and now nowhere is safe from the axe

Open office: More room, less privacy

Open-plan offices affect employees' ability to concentrate, new study finds

Workers who spend a lot of time on tasks requiring focus find them difficult to complete when too close to colleagues

Chancellor George Osborne's Spending Review in the House of Commons this afternoon

Most public spending reviews create winners and losers. But there are no winners today

When George Osborne spoke today he evidently felt he was responding to the public mood. How long will that mood last?

Court artist sketch of Moors Murderer Ian Brady appearing via video at his mental health tribunal

Ian Brady still psychotic, says doctor

The child killer suffers from long-term paranoid schizophrenia which does not "just fade away and die", according to the clinician in charge of his care

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'