Editorial: The high price of payday loans

It is better to have lending in the legal economy than drive it into the criminal underworld

California couple Kris Perry and Sandy Stier who took gay marriage ban to court get married just an hour after legal ruling

The lead plaintiffs in the US Supreme Court case that overturned California's same-sex marriage ban tied the knot at San Francisco City Hall on Friday, about an hour after a federal appeals court freed same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses for the first time in 4 1/2 years.

James Pattinson celebrates the dismissal of Chris Jones

Somerset 320 & 260 Australians 321-5dec & 36-0: James Pattinson’s looking a real Ashes threat

An early term report on Australia’s progress might say: “Good, room for improvement, none for complacency.” The tourists are steamrollering Somerset in the first match of the Ashes tour but Somerset have suffered similar crushings already this season by their Championship peers.

Guitarist Wang Hongbin performing on the Tesla Coil

A truly electrifying performance

A Chinese band have really thrown down the gauntlet for musicians when it comes to spine-tingling performances.

James Foster’s 143 continued a fine run of form for Essex

County Cricket Round-Up

Batsman of the Day

Kevin Pietersen celebrates his 177 not out against Yorkshire

'Genius' Kevin Pietersen fires big ton to make Ashes statement of intent

Any notion that Kevin Pietersen might need a knock or two to rediscover his touch after 100 days without a competitive innings need no longer concern England pre-Ashes. After two days in the field, his right knee apparently fully recovered from the deep-seated bone bruising that had laid him low since the second Test in Wellington in March, Pietersen went about his primary business with bat in hand and responded with 177 not out, his 48th first-class hundred and his ninth biggest.

Essex v Lancashire match report: Essex skittled for just 20 on day of humiliation

Essex 273 & 20 (Mickleburgh 10; Chapple 5-9); Lancashire 398 (Katich 122; Masters); 4-72 Lancashire win by an innings and 105 runs

Syrian rebels 'gain control' of a key military base in Hama

Syrian rebels have gained control of a key military base in the central Hama province after intense clashes with regime forces, activists said.

'Near apocalyptic' dust storm causes 27-vehicle pileup, killing lorry driver and leaving several others fighting for their lives

Blinded by dust as the storm tore across Interstate 80, vehicles began ploughing into each other, dramatically stretching limited emergency resources in sparsely populated Humboldt County, Nevada

Matthew Fisher becomes youngest county cricket star aged 15

Fifteen-year-old Matthew Fisher today became county cricket's youngest post-war player after he was handed his senior debut by Yorkshire.

Protesters clashing with riot police in Istanbul

Turkey protests continue despite Deputy Prime Minister's apology over police's 'excessive violence'

Politicians accused of giving mixed signals in bid to quell anti-government protests

Caleb McGillivary is accused of killing Joseph Galfy at his home

'Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker' denies murdering 73-year-old lawyer

A man who gained internet fame as “Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker” has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge.

Ricky Ponting’s 192 was not enough to hand Surrey their first win

'Small-town club' Derbyshire fume at Surrey's lucky Ricky Ponting

Derbyshire 452 & 164-3 Surrey 553-8 dec

Centurion Adam Lyth has an average of 47.6 against Somerset
Rory Best, centre, is elated by the news that he will be touring Down Under with the Lions

Rory Best almost driven to distraction by 'dream' Lions call-up

Ulster hooker received joyful news in his car while Gatland expresses sympathy for Hartley

Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn