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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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
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star