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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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 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
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300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

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Meet the man who films great whites for a living