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.

UK to join fight against human trafficking

The United Kingdom will finally sign up to Europe-wide measures to combat human trafficking, after being embarrassed by a campaign fought by Anti-Slavery International, campaigning website 38 Degrees and The Independent on Sunday. More than 46,000 people had signed the organisations' petition calling on the Coalition to sign up.

John Rentoul: Mr Osborne's hand of trumps

Points won by Labour when the coalition falters count for little while the Chancellor holds the Budget cards

Theresa May faces police backlash over pay cuts

The Home Secretary is on a collision course with police rank-and-file after she warned them that their pay and perks would have to be cut back to save jobs. Theresa May vowed to overhaul the rules governing police overtime and working conditions. "No Home Secretary wants to cut police officers' pay packages, but with a record budget deficit, these are extraordinary circumstances," she said.

Joan Smith: The age of the muse may be over

Sometimes an obituary brings something into focus, not just about its subject's life but about the era in which he or she lived.

Half say cuts raise terror risk

One in two people think the cuts in police funding will increase the risk of a deadly terrorist attack, a survey showed today.

Forces 'will lose 10,000 police' as cuts hit home

England and Wales will have 10,000 fewer police officers by 2013 as a result of reductions in force budgets, Labour Party analysis suggests. Planned job cuts announced so far by the country's 43 police forces amounted to 10,190 police officer posts and a further 10,146 police staff.

Police to lose '10,000 officers by 2012'

More than 10,000 police officers in England and Wales are to be cut over the next two years according to figures obtained by the Labour Party, it was reported today.

The Sketch: Labour's druid heralds vocal fightback to save England's ancient trees

The first time I was aware of Mary Creagh she was a woman who looked like a boy. "Best of both worlds," the sketch said. "It's the third way. She'll prosper in New Labour." Then she ran a campaign for the regulation of freelance dance teachers, or having to get a license to smack your children, or – I've got it now – making it illegal for bathwater to be hotter than 38 degrees. There or thereabouts. She thanked me for my support, I remember. She had talent, you see.

Millions of hits crash crime-mapping website

The Government's new crime-mapping website attracted 300,000 hits a minute today, leaving millions frustrated as the site crashed within hours of being launched.

Government 'bottled' terror reforms

Suspected terrorists will still face significant restrictions on their liberties under plans for new powers dubbed "control orders lite", campaigners said tonight.

Government set to outline reforms of control orders

Controversial plans to reform the system of control orders for suspected terrorists will be outlined by Home Secretary Theresa May this week.

Leading article: The subtle art of economic opposition

Ed Balls will bring a killer instinct but will he also bring strategic judgement?

Succession of gaffes that could only end one way

No one was more surprised than Alan Johnson when he was appointed shadow Chancellor just over three months ago. He even attempted to turn his inexperience into a joke. Asked what his first move would be in the job, he replied: "Pick up a primer – 'economics for beginners'."

Balls secures his prize in Shadow Cabinet revamp

The good news for the Labour Party is that they've got themselves a new, combative, economically literate shadow Chancellor, a man who was put on God's good green earth to make George Osborne's life intolerable. "Attack Dog" is a terrible cliché, but it fits Balls's bull mastiff-like demeanour. He will pursue his mission with all the monomaniacal zeal that his mentor, Gordon Brown, brought to the task of harrying the confidence out of successive Tory chancellors in the 1990s.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick