Documents suggest senior figures at Unite believe general strike should be a "tool in armoury" in fight against public spending restraint

Spring of discontent Unions refuse to drop strike threats Documents suggest Unite backs a general strike, described as a 'tool in our armoury' Teaching unions also planning to escalate action By James Chapman PUBLISHED: 01:15 GMT, 5 January 2013 | UPDATED: 02:00 GMT, 5 January 2013 Britain is facing the threat of a spring of widespread industrial unrest at the hands of Labour’s biggest donor and the teaching unions, it has emerged.

Benefits rising twice as fast as salaries: Payments to unemployed jumped by 20% in five years

Benefits rising twice as fast as salaries: Payments to unemployed jump by 20% in five yearsJobseeker's Allowance up 20 per cent from 59.15 a week in 2007/08 to 71In the same five-year period wages only rose by 12 per cent Iana Duncan Smith said the system is not fair on workers By Gerri Peev PUBLISHED: 00:01 GMT, 2 January 2013 | UPDATED: 09:49 GMT, 2 January 2013 Welfare handouts to those languishing on the dole have risen almost twice as fast as average wages over the past five years.

Heartbroken New Year plea from daughter of Ukraine"s former PM Yulia Tymoshenko

Punish the evil judges who jailed my mother: Heartbroken New Year plea from daughter of Ukraine's former PM Yulia TymoshenkoYulia Tymoshenko was jailed in 2011 on charges of abuse of officeShe served as Ukraine's prime minister from December 2007 to March 2010 She denies charges accusing President Yanukovych of orchestrating trialDaughter Eugenia says West must put sanctions on judges and prosecutors | UPDATED: 17:53 GMT, 27 December 2012 The daughter of jailed former Ukrainian premier Yulia Tymoshenko has urged Western nations to impose sanctions on officials involved in her mother's imprisonment. Tymoshenko, the country's top opposition leader, is serving a seven-year prison sentence on charges of abuse of office after a trial that was condemned by the West as politically motivated and which strained Ukraine's ties to Europe and the United States.

Fears of further violence in Egypt after opposition claims widespread fraud in referendum that approved Islamist-backed constitution

Fears of further violence in Egypt after opposition claims widespread fraud in referendum that approved Islamist-backed constitutionMulsim Brotherhood say constitution got backing of 64 per cent of votersBut National Salvation Front say 'irregularities' should be investigatedOpposition group voters stayed away due to fears of electoral abuse | UPDATED: 18:59 GMT, 23 December 2012 Egypt's opposition claimed widespread fraud after a referendum gave approval to an Islamist-backed constitution. The constitution, which has provoked large scale demonstrations and riots, got the backing of 64 per cent of voters it was claimed today by the Muslim Brotherhood, the main group backing the charter

French President Francois Hollande warns David Cameron he cannot pick and choose from "a la carte" Europe

French President Hollande warns Cameron he cannot pick and choose from 'a la carte' Europe to return powers from Brussels British PM wants to repatriate powers from the EU before putting new settlement to British people in a referendumBut Socialist leader Hollande insists membership of the EU is 'for life' | UPDATED: 16:32 GMT, 14 December 2012 David Cameron has been warned by the French that he cannot treat Europe as an ‘a la carte’ menu, where Britain picks and chooses which bits it likes. French President Francois Hollande insisted signing up to the euro bloc was ‘for life’ and ruled out allowing the UK to take back powers already surrendered to Brussels. Mr Cameron will use a major speech in the New Year to spell out set out his vision on Britain’s place in the European Union, offering a referendum on a new settlement.

By "eck, Gromit, mocking politicians isn"t just fun – it"s essential

By 'eck, Gromit, mocking politicians isn't just fun – it's essential By Quentin Letts PUBLISHED: 23:47 GMT, 12 December 2012 | UPDATED: 07:50 GMT, 13 December 2012 Besmirched: The country was encouraged to see former Prime Minister Major as a prize goose during the 1997 general election Some people say that John Major had no chance of winning the 1997 general election once the ‘back to basics’ sex scandals erupted. But is that right The economy was doing well

After two years and 1million in public money, Ed Miliband"s policy blank sheet still has "absolutely nothing" on it, Tories claim

After two years and 1million in public money, Ed Miliband's policy blank sheet still has 'absolutely nothing' on it, Tories claim Electoral Commission funding since May 2010 tops 1millionDavid Cameron says Labour has 'no answer' to tackling Britain's deficitTory party chairman Grant Shapps suggests Labour 'repay' the cash By Matt Chorley, Mailonline Political Editor PUBLISHED: 11:49 GMT, 11 December 2012 | UPDATED: 12:21 GMT, 11 December 2012 Labour has received more than a 1million in taxpayers’ money to fill in Ed Miliband’s policy ‘blank sheet’. David Cameron launched a strongly-worded attack on his opponents, claiming that two and half years since losing the election Labour has ‘absolutely nothing’ to say about the big challenges facing the country

French First Lady Valerie Trierweiler sparks row by meeting opponents of new airport backed by prime minister

French First Lady Valerie Trierweiler sparks row by meeting opponents of new airport backed by prime ministerFrancois Hollande's girlfriend met the protestors in Angers, western FranceThe 47-year-old was handed a letter to give to her partnerSome have seen it as a direct snub of PM Jean-Marc AyraultMs Trierweiler has been a target of several verbal attacks by politicians and journalists since her partner became president | UPDATED: 15:14 GMT, 10 December 2012 Approachable: Ms Trierweiler, 47, chatted with the protestors in Angers, western France, this weekend and was even asked to deliver a letter to her partner, President Francois Hollande French First Lady Valerie Trierweiler is at the centre of a fresh political scandal after meeting opponents of a new airport – in defiance of the prime minister's support for the project. Ms Trierweiler is accused of trying to undermine PM Jean-Marc Ayrault's authority by consorting with the protestors in Angers, western France, this weekend. The new multi-billion pound airport in Nantes is due for completion in 2017 and has even been dubbed the 'Ayrault-port', a play on the prime minister's name, because of his fierce backing

"Bungling Balls" has destroyed chances of leading Labour after lacklustre response to Osborne"s Autumn statement, claims fellow…

'Bungling Balls' has destroyed chances of leading Labour after lacklustre response to Osborne's Autumn statement, claims fellow opposition MP Bassetlaw MP John Mann said any speculation over a leadership challenge by Ed Balls is 'dead and buried' | UPDATED: 00:51 GMT, 9 December 2012 Ed Balls’s hopes of replacing Ed Miliband as Labour leader have been ‘buried’ by his bungled Commons onslaught on George Osborne last week, a Labour MP claimed last night. Bassetlaw MP John Mann said the Shadow Chancellor’s lacklustre response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement plans to slash welfare and raise taxes for the well-off had damaged Mr Balls’s leadership prospects – and made Mr Miliband’s position secure.