News The scene outside Shenfield station this morning, after a 44-year-old City worker was shot in the leg on his way into London

Police are appealing for witnesses after a balaclava-wearing gunman fled from the scene

Peter Tobin murder trial jury discharged

The trial of a handyman accused of murdering a sixth former 18 years ago was halted today.

Police investigate Tory peer over £100,000 expenses

A Tory frontbench peer is being investigated by Scotland Yard after claiming £100,000 over seven years for overnight stops in London despite living less than 50 miles from the capital, it was reported last night.

Missing teenager 'was bound and drugged by her killer'

Father of hitchhiker listens as jury is told of grisly find in sex attacker's garden

County Championship round-up: Joseph inspires shock Kent win

The only ground at which a dedicated cricket watcher's pulse would have quickened yesterday was Chelmsford. Otherwise, to read about match-winning bowlers and adventurous captaincy, the best advice was to consult the history books. Of eight Championship matches begun last week, six were drawn. In two of them, Somerset and Leicestershire, following on, scored more than 400 runs to avoid defeat. The start of the season awaits the wow-factor.

Foxe's Book of Martyrs, Edited by John N King

In 1682, a bizarre amendment was added to an inscription on the Monument of the Great Fire of London: "Popish frenzy, which wrought such horrors, is not yet quenched." A major reason for the protracted anti-Catholicism in England is Foxe's Book of Martyrs, described by its editor as a work exerting "a greater influence upon the consciousness of early modern England... than any other [aside from the Bible and the Common Prayer".

Gales, downpours and flash floods add to misery left behind by blizzards

Southern Britain battered as foul winter fails to relent

Firm guilty of 14-year radioactive leak

A nuclear power station operator was today found guilty of allowing radioactive waste to seep from a decontamination unit for 14 years, the Environment Agency said.

Essex

Secondary School Tables 2009

V Festival, Hylands Park, Chelmsford

The V Festival has reached its 13th anniversary by continuing to confound. Detractors point to its role as giant brand management machine, a suspicion helped by Wag-obsessed coverage beforehand. Here, wellies are a fashion statement, even in sunny weather, and if you are not boozing or listening to music, you are watching dancers cavort in underwear on the Sloggi stage.

Johnson adviser's sexual past comes back to haunt him

Boris Johnson's new administration in London is in crisis after he was forced to set up an independent inquiry into allegations of sexual harassment and financial irregularities against one of his deputies.

Championship: Notts race to victory while bad weather claims early casualties

The rain stayed away from Canterbury long enough for Nottinghamshire to knock off the 24 runs they needed to complete a 10-wicket victory over Kent in the County Championship First Division match on Saturday. It took Notts 22 minutes and 5.4 overs to seal the win with Will Jefferson and Matthew Wood seeing them home.

Lilian Pizzichini: I saw for myself the shocking reality of prison life

It will be no surprise to those who work in prisons or are incarcerated in them that Jack Straw has conceded that the Government's plans for "super prisons" may not have been such a good idea after all – second thoughts that come a week after Her Majesty's Chief Inspectorate of Prisons published its damning report into HMP Chelmsford.

Martyn Waites: Why the Geordie crime writer is choosing to keep it real

As thrillers get ever more graphic, overblown and bloody, Geordie crime writer Martyn Waites is making a stand against 'immoral' and 'reactionary' storylines

Michael Ancram: We do not need these nuclear weapons

Nuclear deterrence was for the 20th century. I do not believe it is for the 21st

Oil rig tycoon nets £265m in London listing

Steven Lamprell, the high-living British oil services tycoon based in Dubai, has made £265m after selling a majority stake in his company through a London listing.

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Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
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peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
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booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
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Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
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Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
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Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital