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Manchester’s Chorlton along with Herne Hill, Muswell Hill and Dagenham in London are some of the worst afflicted areas while Mossley Hill and Waterloo in Liverpool also feature prominently

Letter: Gays and the law

Sir: The Independent has always been well to the fore in advocating gay law reform. It is, therefore, a matter of some concern that you believe that in civilian life the age of consent is "the last serious piece of legislation that treats homosexuality as a lesser, shameful expression of human love" (Andrew Marr on the gay age of consent, 8 October). Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Flushing out the greatest invention

The Top 100 list of gadgets, gizmos and devices that changed our lives is headed by an item first used by the ancient Chinese. By William Hartston

Teenager who posed as a train driver gets community service

A teenager who posed as a train driver and drove passengers at up to 100mph was given a community service sentence and put on probation. Nicholas Gray, 18, from Margate, Kent, had held on to his train driver's outfit after two weeks' work experience at London Bridge and Herne Hill stations expired.

Lord Taylor denounces Howard reforms

Crime debate: Minimum sentences idea based on 'flimsy evidence', warns Lord Chief Justice in final speech

Politicians' families are a proper subject for debate

ALMOST two years ago Madam Speaker Boothroyd said she deplored the introduction of members' children into debate. She was quite fierce on the subject, about which she clearly felt strongly. The unfortunate Conservative who was asking the question sank to his seat, suppressed. I thought at the time that Madam Speaker was being both unrealistic and mistaken, for what a politician chooses to do about his or her children's education is surely a legitimate subject for political comment and debate - as much as his or her use of the NHS. In the past, the practice of Labour politicians has varied. So has the amount of attention which it has aroused.

Brixton's pearl on the brink

FACES FOR '96: Two young sportsmen are at the vanguard of emerging British talent; BOXING; James Reed on a heavyweight with shoulders broad enough to bear the acclaim

Yardie gangster is jailed for 14 years

A "yardie" gang member who told a judge that he had been lured to Britain and "set up" in an armed robbery was jailed for 14 years yesterday.

`Superman in flight' at full stretch

Robin Nicholl sees Scotland's ex-world pursuit champion, Graeme Obree, try another new style

I'VE GOT A BIKE

MODERN TIMES

Lords `took cash to ask questions'

Eminent lawyer tells how client paid 'substantial sums' to four peers a nd several MPs for acting on his behalf

Top judges support rights Bill in Lords

The Government was put under renewed pressure last night to incorporate the European Convention on Human Rights into British law. Senior judges, including the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Taylor of Gosforth, backed a private member's Bill in the Lords .

'No hint of motive' in hunt for gun killer

Police investigating the murder of two men shot dead in a south London street last week said the victims appeared to have been 'ordinary, hard- working family men' with nothing in their background to suggest a possible motive.

Cycling: Boardman sweeps the new boards: Richard Williams reports on the inaugural competition at a pounds 9m velodrome

IN FRANCE and Italy you see bank managers and architects out on their racing bikes on sunny Sunday mornings, sheathed in Dayglo Lycra and burning up the asphalt, their heads full of boyhood dreams of Anquetil and Coppi. To the British, by contrast, cycle racing is a sport that belongs to frosty dawns on the Doncaster by-pass. In that context, yesterday's inaugural meeting at the pounds 9m Manchester velodrome offered a rare opportunity to invest the sport with a little glamour. A little, but not too much.

Patient held

A care-in-the-community mental patient was in police custody last night after a woman was repeatedly stabbed with a pair of scissors, then bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher, outside a block of council flats in Herne Hill, south-east London.

Inspection procedures to remain: Peter Rodgers looks at the history of complaints about the fairness of the system

THE Department of Trade and Industry yesterday welcomed the court decision and said it planned no changes in the procedures for investigations under the Companies Act.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future