News The MP Louise Ellman branded the use of parking fines to raise revenue unacceptable and illegal

Councils across England have been accused of implementing “an unacceptable mass ticketing culture” after the release of figures showing that car parking charges have generated £600m of surplus profit in the past year.

Album: Boy Bear, Moonfire (V2)

The nu-folk-rock boom has now, it seems, gone global, spreading beyond its Anglo-American bases to Australia, where Boy & Bear's Moonfire has been a runaway success.

Los Angeles police officers arrest a man after a shooting

Real-life 'Minority Report' stops crime before it happens

Computer profiling allows LAPD cops to target areas where criminals may operate. Guy Adams reports.

Council parking row over 'tax on nightlife'

Drivers visiting London's West End could be forced to pay increased charges to park overnight after the local council announced plans to ban parking on stretches of road "equivalent to" nearly 1,200 parking spaces.

Can Portas save the high street?

Television retail guru Mary Portas plans to bring the community back to the high street this week in the face of another wave of retailers going into administration.

Border line: Dismantling a garage in Anna Pavord's garden meant space for a shrub border

If we hadn't pulled down the garage, I wouldn't have made the shrub border. This is the Law of Unintended Consequences. And it's how most of us go on in our gardens. Things get done in a piecemeal way. The garage was the first thing you saw when you turned into our yard and it blocked out the view beyond. From the beginning we planned to get rid of this breezeblock barrack, so the ground swept uninterrupted from the yard down to the valley below.

Women in Science: From car paint to supercomputers – the story of multitasking molecules

My research is about an old molecule, the phthalocyanine, which I started working on from day one of my PhD, 13 years ago, and am still fascinated in.

Small garages turn to alternative sources for finance

Small independent garages looking to raise short-term finance in order to fund expansion are increasingly being turned away from the high-street banks.

Simon Read: It's the year to really get a good grip on your finances

Happy new year! I trust that the hangover soon subsides but that any well-meaning resolutions you made last night last a little longer, especially if they are to do with getting your finances in order in 2011. Rest assured that we'll continue to bring you the best investment advice and money-saving tips as normal.

Sean O'Grady: Pity the poor motorist

Something quite alarming is happening to car insurance. Premiums are up 38% on last year, say the Office for National Statistics, a record high.

Questions Of Cash: 'Is car-hire company giving me the runaround?'

Q. I booked for car hire through CarTrawler for a six-day car hire in Corsica, for collection at Ajaccio airport and leaving it at Porto Vecchio. My payment included a one-way fee of €90. On arrival I was told I couldn't return it to Porto Vecchio. Instead I had to return it to Figaro airport. I had to pay a €43.50 taxi fare after dropping the car at Figaro. I asked for a refund, but this was refused. I was told that unless I paid in full I would lose my deposit and car. I was told I could make a refund claim when I got home. I've done this, but all I received was a cheque for €40. I had calculated that I was due a refund of €133.50 [£117]. RK, London.

er-50s hit by car insurance hike says survey

Motorists aged over 50 have seen a huge hike in car insurance costs over the last 12 months, it was revealed today.

Nine in 10 garages miss dangerous faults in tests

Garages are routinely failing to find basic faults and charging for bogus work, according to an investigation.

Open jaw: 'There are ways to exact revenge on passengers'

Where readers write back

FSA bans four over scam

Four people were banned by the Financial Services Authority yesterday after money collected from customers to pay for insurance premiums was used to fund the start-up of a new business.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent