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.

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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
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?