Smart meters: are they the answer to big bills?

A small gadget, already in many homes, shows exactly how much energy you are using and helps you cut back. Nargis Ahmad and Julian Knight report

Double killer stabbed to death 'in revenge attack'

A man aged 20 who was jailed for killing two friends in a car crash has been murdered in what may have been a revenge attack. Dwayne Ayres was stabbed to death in the village of Hook, Hampshire, after a group burst into the house where he was staying early yesterday morning.

You write the reviews: Big Star, Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Back in the early Seventies, Big Star made their mark on the post-Sixties landscape with their brand of melodic, melancholy pop, and were described by the rock critic Jason Ankeny as the "quintessential American power- pop band". Alex Chilton, formerly a teenybopper pin-up with the Box Tops, had teamed up with Chris Bell, an old mate from his home town of Memphis, Tennessee, to join a band called Icewater. He changed the name to Big Star, and in 1972 they made a debut album, # 1 Record, that was acclaimed as a masterpiece. But it was heard by virtually no one on account of abysmal distribution.

County Championship round-up: Ervine damages Durham's title chances

Sean Ervine guided Hampshire to a surprise victory at Basingstoke as Durham wasted a chance to go top of the County Championship First Division. Ervine's 94 not out guided Hampshire home by two wickets as they chased down 240.

Parents' lies crushed our world, say sons of 'dead' canoeist

The sons of John Darwin, the canoeist who faked his own death, faced their mother in court yesterday, saying she betrayed them with elaborate lies about their father's apparent demise.

Hundreds more housebuilding jobs axed

Hundreds more housebuilding job cuts were announced today as Bovis Homes and Redrow became the latest to outline efforts to combat the property slump.

Mark Steel: Beware – the rail companies are out to get you

Modern train ticket collectors do a marvellous job. Coming back from Bristol to London, one of them told me: "Because this is a non-saver train, I'll have to charge you an additional £69." And he didn't flinch, collapse into hysterics or even blush. He must regularly face the same bemused grimace whenever he says those words, a stare no different to the one he'd face if he said: "Sorry sir, because this is a non-transferrable Quicksave ticket, I'll have to sleep with your daughter."

Body in suitcase: suspect charged

Detectives charged a man yesterday with the murder of polish woman found in a suitcase on the outskirts of a wealthy village.

Point-to-point: Quick to continue revival in Devon National

Five meetings, two today and three tomorrow, have been rescheduled following last weekend's snow.

Ask Annie: How safe will my cash be in exotic exchange-traded funds?

Q. I am attracted to exchange-traded funds by their low cost and flexibility, but am cautious given the underperformance of other investment products such as with-profits funds and split-capital trusts.

PsychoGeography #71: Strange weeds and flying Dutchmen

I ONCE visited the Netherlands three times in one year, which frankly is pushing it. The third time I went I was met by a Dutchman at the airport. We were queuing to get a car-park ticket when I dropped the English Sunday newspaper I'd been reading and its 37 property sections flooded across the floor. One of a pair of burly fellows who were behind us in the queue muttered to his companion "zwaar", and they both dissolved into low church giggles. As I picked up the newsprint I asked my Dutchman, "What does that mean?" And he replied, "Heavy". That to me encapsulates the Dutch sense of humour: the pratfall is conceived of as ironic. It's a form of Little Country Blues that's oddly endearing.

Sporting digest: Ice hockey

Coventry Blaze extended their lead at the top of the Elite League with a 4-2 win over third-placed Cardiff Devils on Saturday.

Shire hit by safety worries over Alzheimer's treatment

US drug regulators will examine data this week which shows a higher death rate among elderly people trialling Shire Pharmaceuticals' Alzheimer's disease drug, Reminyl.

Basingstoke's medallion man goes on trial for attempt to assassinate Pablo Escobar

When David Tomkins appears before a court in Miami next week it could bring to a close an astonishing story which pitted the medallion man from Basingstoke in a deadly battle against the world's most feared drugs baron.

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A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape