News Hundreds of schools were closed today, because of a teacher strike

Workers strike over increases to pension contributions and cuts to the size of payouts

Thousands of council and hospital workers go on strike

Thousands of council and hospital workers went on strike today in two separate disputes over terms and conditions and claims of management bullying.

Groom set fire to castle over drinks bill

A groom set fire to the country house where his wedding reception was being held after he and his bride had a row with staff over their bar bill.

Groom admits wedding night arson

A groom today admitted starting a devastating fire at the country house where his wedding reception was held.

Paul Sturrock's wholehearted approach has lifted Southend to the top of League One

Sturrock's grounded style has Southend on the rise

The Shrimpers manager tells Nick Judd how sending his players to work on building sites has helped them climb to top of the table

Stone Roses singer Ian Brown avoids driving ban

Stone Roses front man Ian Brown escaped a driving ban today after he was clocked speeding at 105mph.

Tories and Labour neck and neck in latest by-elections

Tories and Labour are running neck and neck in the latest council by-elections which saw just one seat change hands.

Micah Richards claims Manchester United are 'a bit frightened'

Micah Richards believes Manchester United are "a bit frightened" of Roberto Mancini's Manchester City ahead of this weekend's Barclays Premier League clash at Old Trafford.

Wigan's Cup hangover lets slip Shield chance to hungry Wolves

Warrington 39 Wigan 12

Riots In Brief: Armani looter jailed

A 25-year-old man who looted an Armani store during disorder that swept the nation earlier this month has been jailed for 20 months.

A hard day's ride

Cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats was a tough gig for Warren Howard and his band, and that's before they sang for their supper – and charity – every night as well

Deaths trigger concerns over police tasers

Concerns have been raised over the use of tasers and pepper spray by police after the deaths of three people in custody during the past eight days.

Three deaths in eight days spark concern over arrest methods

Concerns have been raised over extreme techniques used by police to arrest suspects after the deaths of three people in custody during the past eight days.

Inquiry launched after man dies in police custody

An inquiry has been launched by the police watchdog following the death of a man who was restrained using pepper spray.

Inquiry after restrained man dies

An investigation has been launched by the police watchdog following the death of a man who was restrained using pepper spray.

Warning follows girl's drug death

Police today warned youngsters and their parents about post-exam summer celebrations after a 16-year-old girl died of a suspected drug overdose.

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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own