Now the real economic pain starts: yes, it's 'worse-off Wednesday'

The longest squeeze in British living standards in almost a century intensifies today – which has been dubbed 'worse-off Wednesday' because it marks the beginning of a tax year in which tax increases and benefits and public-sector cuts will add to the misery already experienced by the millions struggling to cope with high inflation and minimal pay rises. Put simply, the 2011-12 fiscal year will be the first full year of Coalition cuts, and the one when the pain begins in earnest.

Nicky Campbell: Don't talk to me about the West Kent Hunt

The first time it happened, it was one of those feelings where your whole life goes before you; a chill, almost like death inside. I couldn't believe I'd said it – such a taboo word.

Police 'kettling' tactic angers protesters

Police risked controversy today as they "kettled" several hundred protesters after clashes during student tuition fee protests.

Clinging on and on the way up: A tale of two fan clubs

Both run by supporters but with wildly differing results on and off the field, Ebbsfleet and AFC Wimbledon meet in the FA Cup tonight. Glenn Moore looks at two new-model outfits

Dartford's Green Army march on to new ground

Britain's first eco-friendly arena will be in the FA Cup spotlight when Port Vale arrive at Princes Park tomorrow

Ruck and Maul: Incident which blinded Quinnell in one eye is investigated by police and WRU

It is not clear yet whether the Welsh Rugby Union's investigation into Llanelli's citing of a stamp during the match at Cross Keys which cost the Scarlets' Gavin Quinnell the sight in his left eye will wait for Gwent police to complete their inquiries into an allegation of assault. In England, the Gravesend player Clarence Harding was blinded in one eye last January by what he alleged was a gouge while playing against Maidstone. Police took evidence but according to Maidstone RFC, who have not disciplined any player, the police concluded there was "insufficient evidence to refer the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service". Nine months on, an RFU disciplinary hearing is pending.

Mother wins NHS gastric band case

A sixteen-stone woman denied gastric band treatment on the NHS has used a judicial review to reverse the decision.

Simon Read: Savers - beware rip-off rates

How many savers have cash in low-paying accounts? I suspect it's millions. Banks and building societies have become notorious for slyly cutting rates on once high-paying accounts, leaving loyal customers getting paltry returns.

21 years for Broadmoor patient who killed two women

A "sadistic" Broadmoor patient was jailed for a minimum of 21 years today after pleading guilty to killing two women more than 12 years ago and attacking two others for sexual kicks.

Health alert as Britain swelters

There were sweltering temperatures in parts of Britain today as the first heat-health alert of the summer came into force.

Church pays out to woman sedated as child

The Church of England has paid "substantial" damages to a woman who claimed she was heavily sedated during her time at a children's home, it was disclosed today.

Warm weather set to stay for most of UK

Much of the UK will stay very warm this week after the country sweltered on its hottest day of the year.

Britain hotter than the Med

Soaring temperatures provided the perfect excuse to spend a day at the beach as Britain sweltered on the hottest day of the year so far.

Pair admit £1m house repairs con

Two men admitted swindling more than £1 million out of people by conning them into paying for costly and unnecessary building work to their homes when they appeared in court today.

Bruma gives perfect riposte to Devine intervention

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Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
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Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing
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Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

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Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
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There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
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Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

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Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
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Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
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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
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?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are