News Syrian refugees look out from an evacuated house in Istanbul. Hundreds of Syrian refugees will be allowed to come to Britain under new government plans

Hundreds of Syrian refugees will be allowed to come to Britain under plans to be announced by the Government on Wednesday.

Yvette Cooper tops the list of Labour MPs in vote for Shadow Cabinet

Yvette Cooper topped the poll last night as Labour MPs elected the "new generation" of senior frontbenchers who will serve under the party's new leader, Ed Miliband.

Susie Mesure: A foolproof list for dads: 1. Cuddles, 2. Real food, 3. Zoo

Every mother's done it: nagged her other half about something to do with their child. And it's usually about the blindingly obvious, let's face it. What dad isn't capable of remembering to wipe a dripping nose/take a coat out when it's cold/bring some nappies/or pack some snacks for a trip out? (Delete as appropriate: I just checked and I'm apparently guilty of all of them.)

Benefits 'to be replaced by universal credit'

Millions of welfare claimants are set to have their benefits scrapped and replaced with a single "universal credit", it was reported today.

Mr and Mrs Balls both in the running for shadow Chancellor job

As Labour MPs deliberate over which of their colleagues they want to see in Ed Miliband's shadow team, one name has cropped up more than most – Yvette Cooper's.

Andrew Grice: How first his bottle and then his brother cost David Miliband his dream

A career frustrated by crucial mistakes

49 MPs join race for frontbench role

The battle for jobs in Ed Miliband's top team was joined in earnest tonight with 49 Labour MPs putting themselves forward.

Women could make up half of new Shadow Cabinet

Women are set to make up almost half of Ed Miliband's top team after he privately urged MPs to elect large numbers of female candidates to his Shadow Cabinet.

The leader's in tray: Shadow cabinet poll is the first worry

Ed Miliband faces an early test of how best to deploy his team - once his backbenchers have decided who's in it

Ed Balls: Running his race to the beat of the people's drum

The 'other Ed' hoping to be elected Labour's leader is convinced he is the only candidate who can truly connect with the electorate. Matt Chorley meets Ed Balls.

Sarah Sands: Retirement at 80, a novel at 90... We can take our time

The generations of Windsors who emerged stiffly in wintry clothes at the end of their austerity cruise in the Western Isles last week were regarded as quaint, but the Royal Family is evidently a model for the future. There is a doughty matriarch of 84, working full time and supporting many dependants; a son kept out of a job because there is no longer a retirement age to create a vacancy; anxiety about members of the extended family who are on benefits, since taxpayers' tolerance of subsidy is perilously low; a young prince who keeps trying to push back his wedding day because the ratio of 27 years being single to 72 years or so of married life is hard to swallow.

Vote for me! (I'm having a cheap holiday)

Labour's leadership candidates are vying for left-wing support – even on vacation

Comment: "Budgets should have a published gender-impact assessment"

As has been pointed out elsewhere, women will be paying for the brunt of the changes announced in the recent emergency Budget. The House of Commons library's gender analysis, commissioned by Labour MP Yvette Cooper, showed that by 2014-15, of the £8bn net savings made as a result of changes in taxes, benefits and in the indexation of pensions, women will be contributing 72 per cent and men just 28 per cent. In other words, women, who have substantially lower incomes than men, will be providing more of the money that will be collected to rescue the public finances from the recession's effects. This can only make gender inequalities in income worse.

Mary Dejevsky: Let's not fight this gender war

Women move into the public sector not just because this is where 'women's' jobs are concentrated, but because they see it as more reliable, responsible and humane

Reform of benefit system could see introduction of London weighting

Benefit levels could be varied around the country to reflect the cost of living in different regions under plans for a radical revamp of the welfare state.

Tory benefit reforms 'will make work pay'

The Government unveiled radical proposals to reform the UK's "antiquated" benefits system today, pledging the biggest overhaul in decades in a drive to simplify the structure and make work pay.

Sport
Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker during Hansen's final broadcast
World Cup 2014
Sport
Rihanna celebrates Germany's win
Sport
Sport
Manchester United's kit for the 2014/15 season
football
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor