News George Osborne sounded warnings ahead of 26 June deadline

Chancellor has demanded £11.5bn in spending reductions, with most Whitehall departments required to find savings of up to 10%

Report raises concerns over shorter jail terms

The deterrent effect of short-term sentences is lost on criminals who are jailed time and time again, a report has found.

Leading article: The future of women's jails merits attention

A radical call for the closure of women's prisons is the key recommendation of a report published today by the Women's Justice Taskforce, which calls for the savings to be reinvested in community-based alternatives to custody. The Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, should give the report careful consideration as he completes his White Paper on sentencing, which is to be published shortly and will look hard at ways to cut the total number of prisoners in Britain – at more than 85,000, the highest as a proportion of the population in Europe.

The people versus the cuts (and, as ever, the lawyers will be the winners)

After protests and petitions, campaigners turn to judges to halt spending decisions. Matt Chorley reports on how the taxpayer still picks up the tab

The Week in Radio: So-so grammar puts sensitive listeners in a spin

These are tough times for pedants like me. Like people with extra-sensitive skin, it takes only minuscule grammatical mistakes to make us flinch and squirm. There are some to whom a split infinitive is like biting on silver foil and others who spend their days shouting, dementedly, "fewer" at politicians who can't hear them. Almost daily, fresh horrors rise from the radio like the screech of chalk on a blackboard, and one of the most recent is "so". Why should so many interviewees begin their answers with this apparently incongruous word?

Video: Clarke 'dozes off' during Obama speech

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke appears to doze off during President Obama's speech at Westminster.

Sentence cuts 'create more victims'

Government plans to cut prison sentences in half for offenders who plead guilty risk creating more victims, Labour leader Ed Miliband warned today.

Car insurance premiums soar by 40%

Car insurance premiums have soared by a record 40% during the past year as high levels of fraud and personal injury claims continue to push up the cost of cover, research showed today.

Bomb plotter wins appeal on sentence after 25 years

A terrorist who tried to blow up an aircraft with up to 375 people on board by planting a bomb in his pregnant fiancee's hand luggage has won the right to leave jail.

Forces stand by for prison strike

The military could be brought in to staff prisons should officers strike over plans to privatise three jails, the Justice Secretary said yesterday.

Kenneth Clarke's 'no win, no fee' crackdown

The Justice Secretary will today promise an end to the "no win, no fee" deals that encourage unscrupulous lawyers to take spurious cases to court.

Council denies Bulger killer 'cover-up'

A council today denied "covering up" allegations that one of James Bulger's killers had sex with a female member of prison staff before he was released on parole.

Clarke 'did not nod off' during Budget

An official has denied Labour accusations that Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke nodded off as George Osborne delivered his Budget.

Conference Diary: Clarke's plain speaking ruffles Lib Dem feathers

Kenneth Clarke used the conference platform yesterday to rally Conservatives behind the No campaign for the 5 May referendum on adopting the alternative vote (AV) system at general elections.

Couples to be forced to consider mediation

Couples will be forced to consider mediation to resolve any disputes before resorting to the courts under a shake-up of the divorce system.

Lib Dems clash with Tory right over child justice

Nick Clegg's party wants to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14, angering Conservative traditionalists
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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage