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Ukraine passes anti-protest law

Supporters of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich have hustled a sweeping law through parliament in an attempt to curb anti-government protests, sparking an outcry from the opposition and raising tensions on the streets.

Rahul Gandhi to lead campaign for India's ruling Congress party

Members of India's ruling Congress party erupted in rapturous applause today for Rahul Gandhi, heir to the country's Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, who is leading the struggling party's campaign in a general election in May.

Egypt: Presidential run clear for Al-Sisi after majority vote for new constitution

Around 90% voters back new constitution, according to state-run media

The secret 'Dishfire' system can read hundreds of millions of text messages from around the world

NSA leaks: British spies were given access to US 'Dishfire' system that reads hundreds of millions of texts from around the world

The NSA has to delete innocent texts involving Americans from the system but there is no requirement to do so for foreign phone numbers

Sir James Munby has published new guidance for judges which urges transparency

Formerly secret Court of Protection commits to transparency with pledge to publish judgments

Judges who make life-changing decisions on behalf of people who lack mental capacity will now routinely have to publish their judgments.

Aung San Suu Kyi is agitating for constitutional change

Until Aung San Suu Kyi can run for President, Burma is no democracy

If the military blocks constitutional change, the world will want to know why

Julie Gayet sues Closer magazine over François Hollande 'affair' photographs

The actress is seeking 50,000 euros in damages for breach of privacy

Stewart Sutherland and his wife Natasha, leave Telford Magistrates' Court in Shropshire

Term-time holiday: All respect to the Sutherland family, but the law's the law - and it's not so bad

Also germane to the issue is the  pumping-up of travel prices during school breaks

Google to be tried in the UK: High Court upholds British claimants' 'secret tracking' case

The search giant had originally claimed that it should be tried in the US

David Laws said Labour plans for MOT-style tests on teachers would be a

Labour MOT-style test for teachers would be a 'bureaucratic nightmare' says Schools Minister David Laws

Labour's Shadow Education Secretary unveiled his plans on Wednesday

Vodafone to call for UK government to disclose requests for users' data

World third-largest mobile phone company wishes to follow example of US companies, publishing regular 'transparency reports' on data requests

Comedian Russell Brand is determined to spark a

Russell Brand launches fund to raise money for drug and alcohol treatment ‘recovery communities’

The Give it Up Fund, which will be managed by Comic Relief, aims to provide financial aid to help people remain free of substance misuse

Under the Government’s health reforms, any qualified provider can bid for NHS services that are put out to tender by commissioners

Two thirds of contracts for NHS services in England awarded in the last eight months have gone to the private sector

Labour has accused the Government of allowing the private sector to “cherry-pick” successful NHS services after a survey revealed NHS contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds had gone to private companies since the Coalition's health reforms. 

Pope Francis addresses ambassadors to the Holy See at the Vatican on January 13, 2014

Vatican faces UN grilling over child sex abuse

Holy See will be questioned on Thursday over its implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

A US Federal judge has ruled against a ban on same-sex marriage in Oklahoma

US federal judge rules Oklahoma ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional

Judge Kern said the state's law is "arbitrary and irrational"

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine