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Lidl matches Waitrose in taste test

Discount store Lidl has done as well as posh nosh specialist Waitrose in a mass blind-tasting of indulgent Christmas foods.

Halloween costumes 'damaging'

Halloween's ghoulish festivities have turned into a "dangerous" culture that brands the mentally ill as "psychos or schizos or freaks", a Government minister will warn today.

RBS sets £400m for rigging claims

Royal Bank of Scotland is setting aside £400 million to settle foreign exchange rate rigging allegations, the state-backed lender announced today.

Plea to confront aid corruption

The Government is failing to tackle corruption levels in international aid programmes it is funding, an independent watchdog has found.

Proposals to repay £2bn WWI debt

Steps to repay the UK's £2 billion in outstanding First World War debt have been unveiled with plans to redeem bonds dating back to the 18th century.

Praising pupils 'can be harmful'

It is often said that a little encouragement goes a long way, but a new study suggests that lavishing praise on pupils is unlikely to help them improve in the classroom.

Firms 'should state drink calories'

Drinks companies should label their alcoholic products to show the number of calories they contain as part of a bid to tackle obesity, a health organisation has said.

One missing in firework plant blaze

A search is due to get under way for a person missing after a large blaze at a fireworks factory which saw two others taken to hospital.

Labour set for new Scots leadership

Ed Miliband is looking to a completely new leadership team to turn around the flagging Labour Party in Scotland as two polls suggested he is facing a wipeout north of the border.

Abuse victims want Woolf to quit

Representatives of alleged child abuse victims will call for the resignation of the City lawyer chosen to chair the Government's inquiry when they meet the inquiry panel's secretariat for the first time today.

Government accused amid fire strike

The Government has been accused of showing "contempt" for public sector workers as firefighters prepare to stage a four-day strike in a bitter row over pensions.

Puppy farm killer to be sentenced

An elderly dog breeder will be sentenced today for shooting his partner and her daughter dead at his puppy farm.

Independent review of Ofsted urged

Council leaders are calling for an independent review of Ofsted, amid concerns that the schools watchdog is losing credibility.

NHS opt-out tax rebate proposed

People in England should be able to receive a tax rebate for opting out of NHS care under a system with significantly increased competition, a think-tank has recommended.

Royal couple to end Colombia tour

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will end their four-day tour of Colombia by visiting the Caribbean influenced city of Cartagena today.

Votes counted in PCC by-election

The new police and crime commissioner (PCC) for South Yorkshire will be announced today, with Ukip hoping it will secure the post, following up its recent by-election successes.

Minister's 'chunky money' for roads

The Government will use the Autumn Statement to set out plans for major road improvement projects, Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander has confirmed.

NHS staff in fresh strike over pay

The Government is facing a fresh strike by health workers including nurses, midwives, domestic staff and radiographers in the bitter row over pay.

Tributes for Sarah Payne's father

Tributes have been paid to the father of murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne after he was found dead at his home.

Libya rendition case can be heard

The case of Libyan politician Abdul Hakim Belhaj and his wife Fatima Boudchar who allege the UK participated in their rendition to Tripoli can be heard in the English courts.

Nato notes spike in Russian flights

Nato has reported an "unusual" spike in Russian military flights in European airspace after RAF fighters were scrambled to intercept a pair of Russian long-range bombers over the North Sea.

Aid ship arrives for Ebola mission

A British ship carrying aid, supplies and vehicles has arrived in Ebola-hit Sierra Leone.

Apple boss Cook 'proud to be gay'

Apple boss Tim Cook has revealed he is "proud to be gay" and hopes that in publicly coming out he can help others come to terms with their sexuality.

One missing in firework plant blaze

One person is unaccounted for after a large blaze broke out at a fireworks factory, police said tonight.

Drugs policy is working - Cameron

David Cameron has insisted the Government's drugs policy is working as a long-awaited Home Office report on substance abuse triggered a furious coalition row between between Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

Harry welcomes poppy campaign bus

Prince Harry welcomed soap royalty Barbara Windsor and war veterans as they called into Buckingham Palace to mark London Poppy Day - on a bus.

Warmest Halloween ever predicted

Tomorrow will be the warmest Halloween on record, continuing a "remarkable year" of high temperatures, weather experts have said.

Woolf role under renewed scrutiny

Fiona Woolf faced fresh pressure about her role at head of a Government inquiry into child abuse after the chairman of an influential group of MPs said her attempt to detail her contact with former home secretary Lord Brittan tried to play down her links with the former cabinet minister and his wife.

Murderers among prison fugitives

Eighteen murderers are among hundreds of offenders on the run after being recalled to prison, official figures have revealed.

Miliband warned on Ukip approach

Tony Blair has warned Ed Miliband not to chase Ukip to win over voters and insisted curbing immigration would be a "disaster" for Britain.

UK ready to help migrant operation

Britain is ready to offer further support to a European operation aimed at controlling borders in the Mediterranean Sea where desperate migrants attempt to reach the continent by boat, Immigration Minister James Brokenshire has said.

Budget secrets 'leaked to The Sun'

A Government press officer leaked budget secrets to a Sun reporter in exchange for £750, a court heard.

TV to screen 'Farage in No 10' film

Channel 4 is to screen a spoof documentary imagining if UKIP won next year's General Election.

Barclays reserves £500m for forex

Barclays has put aside £500 million to settle foreign exchange rigging allegations as it finalises talks with global regulators investigating the scandal.

'Alarming' report on child grooming

Sexual exploitation of children has become "normal" on some streets and estates in Greater Manchester, according to a new report described as "alarming" by Home Secretary Theresa May.

Seven stolen puppies back home

Seven stolen puppies are now back home but only after their owners suffered "unnecessary distress and heartache", police have said.

PM feels 'moral duty' to cut taxes

David Cameron said he feels a "moral duty" to cut taxes but faced a Labour backlash over claims promised income tax changes would save the average worker £3,800 by 2020.

Bid to treat more patients at home

At least 18,000 social workers, therapists and health professionals will provide help for patients in or near home across England under a £5.3 billion push to slash unnecessary hospital visits and stays being hailed by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Prison staff attacks at 8-year high

Assaults against prison staff have hit the highest level in eight years, official figures have shown.

House prices hit all-time high

House prices climbed to another all-time high in October after dipping slightly the previous month, Nationwide Building Society has reported.

Sperm bank will 'build families'

A national sperm bank has opened to help meet increasing demand for donors in the UK.

Apprentice loser 'too proud to beg'

Fired Apprentice candidate Steven Ugoalah has revealed he was too proud to beg for another chance to stay on the show.

Charities launch appeal over Ebola

A major appeal to help tackle the Ebola outbreak, described by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) as the most severe the world has ever seen, is launched today.

1.6m 'not getting a good education'

More than 1.5 million children are still not getting a good education, but the Government and local councils are failing to deal with under-performing schools consistently, the spending watchdog has warned.

Saturday's Lotto is triple rollover

There will be a £9.9 million triple rollover jackpot for Saturday's Lotto, Camelot said.

Ukip targeting police chief post

Ukip is hoping it can keep its current momentum going by securing the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) post following it recent by-election successes.

Father 'killed his sons in fire'

The mother of two boys killed alongside their father in a house fire has claimed he murdered them, adding that she is heartbroken at her loss.

Ballet star dances for royal couple

A Colombian ballet star who has been enthralling British audiences has given a private performance for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

Greens ahead of Lib Dems in poll

The Green Party have outscored the Liberal Democrats in a national opinion poll - a finding that intensified pressure for it to be represented in a general election TV leaders' debate.

CBI in call over future spending

Rules stopping governments spending more than they earn on public services must be introduced once the deficit is wiped out, business leaders have recommended.

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