Only 3.4 per cent of the Solihull area is covered by housing

How town planning can make us thin and healthy: Architects show that more green space and less housing density has a clear effect on public health

It isn’t hard to find an architect who will tell you that vast swathes of the British urban landscape are ugly, grey and unappealing – nor would you struggle to find people who agreed with them. But could it be that the look and the layout of our cities is actually bad for our health?

Benefits Street residents charged with drug offences

Seven people have been charged following raids on the now-famous James Turner Street in Birmingham - including one of the stars of the Channel 4 documentary series

50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, how have things changed on Martin Luther King Day in Birmingham, Alabama?

Matthew Wood, on a year abroad at the University of Alabama, discusses what life is like today in one of the major battlegrounds of the 60s

‘Toilet-papered’ Alabama home burns down after family try to clear away mess with fire

Attempt to tidy up following prank from local children ends in disaster

Mark Thomas and Becky Howe, both 23, are 'fuming' over their presentation in Benefits Street

Benefits Street: Ratings rise again as record 5.2m tune in to third episode

The show has added almost 1m viewers since the first episode two weeks ago

Frank Skinner believes he 'made the right decision' to refuse a job on Benefits Street, despite never having seen the show

Benefits Street: Comedian Frank Skinner turned down narrating job

The comedian did not want to offend residents dependent on benefits

TV firm Love Productions benefits – all the way to the bank

The television company which produces the controversial Channel 4 documentary Benefits Street and the BBC's hit The Great British Bake Off has seen its annual revenues leap by a third to £13m.

Benefits Street: House for sale in James Turner Street, Birmingham

It's the street that’s split opinion all over Britain... and now you can buy your very own house on it.

Dee and Caitlin from Channel 4's 'Benefits Street'

Thousands sign petition urging Channel 4 to drop Benefits Street

The series has prompted a police probe and complaints from viewers

Silhouette of clubber dancing Hacienda nightclub

Top ten places people are most likely to have a one night stand in the UK

Survey reveals Swansea is the place people are most likely to have casual sex

Channel 4's series claims to shed light on life on benefits for residents of the street, including Smoggy pictured here

Benefits Street Twitter reactions: The angry, the idiotic and the defensive

Viewers took to social media to voice their opinions on C4's new documentary

Mark Thomas and Becky Howe, both 23, are 'fuming' over their presentation in Benefits Street

Benefits Street residents subjected to death threats after Channel 4 show airs

Viewers posted abusive messages online when the documentary was broadcast

Security firm G4S is tackling an incident at Oakwood Prison. The G4S spokesman said:

'Incident' at Oakwood prison has been resolved says G4S

An incident lasting more than five hours at the country's largest prison has been resolved, security firm G4S has said.

Childhood obesity rates are rising fast

10-year-old girl weighs 22 stone as Birmingham faces obesity epidemic

A 10-year-old Birmingham schoolgirl has highlighted the obesity epidemic facing the city - weighing in at 22 stone 11 lbs.

An operation at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, the institution where a surgeon has been suspended.

Surgeon suspended from Birmingham hospital over allegedly 'branding' his name on a patient's liver

A surgeon has been suspended over allegations that he “branded” his initials onto a patient’s liver.

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Independent Travel
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?