News Council tax set to rise by as much as five per cent

The amount paid by households towards the cost of policing looks set to rise by up to five per cent this year as the Government faces a potential show down with its flagship Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) who are demanding above inflation increases in council tax to combat swingeing budget cuts.

Jerez: Zoo animals facing starvation in the city that ran out of cash

Alasdair Fotheringham reports from Jerez, where public employees go without pay

Home care is disgraceful, says consumer group Which?

Older people are suffering "disgraceful" home care including missed medication and confinement to soiled beds, an undercover investigation revealed.

Loneliness is 'deadly for the elderly'

Loneliness is as big a killer as smoking, obesity and alcohol, campaigners warned as they held the first major summit on loneliness yesterday.

Councils to be scored on adoption

Councils are to be issued with scorecards laying bare how long they take to find adoptive parents for children in care.

Caught short: New Jersey capital runs out of toilet roll

Dispute between mayor and the council jeopardises supplies of tissue and paper cups
Experts feel closer to Leonardo da Vinci's lost fresco, The Battle of Anghiari

Art experts find 'possible' lost da Vinci work behind fresco

Experts believe they are close to confirming that a lost Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece has been found in the cavity of a medieval Italian building, following the detection of paint similar to that used in the Mona Lisa.

Experts feel closer to Leonardo da Vinci's lost fresco, The Battle of Anghiari

The Mona Lisa code: is a Leonardo under the surface?

Experts believe they are close to confirming that a lost Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece is hidden in the cavity of a medieval Italian building.

Alan Grieve's eye for art is a gift to the nation

Alan Grieve: Is the future of the arts in his hands? A serial giver owns up

As a new contemporary art gallery opens on the beach at Hastings, Simon Tait asks the man behind The Jerwood Foundation about nepotism, saving theatres, and picking up the tab for British culture

David Cameron has been accused of making a U-turn because only last month he joined Labour and Liberal Democrats in attacking excessive pay and bonuses

Faster adoptions are 'no flash in the pan' says David Cameron

David Cameron said today that his plans to create a faster adoption process are not "a Prime Ministerial flash in the pan".

Leading article: A betrayal of victims of domestic abuse

The Government was already in trouble with Britain's women – what with the Prime Minister's series of rather patronising remarks and the protests from feminist groups that the Chancellor's budget cuts fall harder on one gender than the other.

Opinion polls predict that Vladimir Putin will win the election easily

Politicians stage hunger strike for right to stand in Russian election

Protest in provincial town highlights growing sense of frustration with corrupt officials. Shaun Walker reports from Lermontov

Government aims to clear adoption hurdles

The Government is to legislate to ensure that potential adoptions are not blocked purely because the would-be parents are not the same race as the child, Education Secretary Michael Gove announced today.

Last night's viewing - Clinton, PBS; My Social Network Stalker: True Stories, Channel 4

"There's a stick-to-itness in this man that's just phenomenal," someone said at the beginning of Clinton, PBS's four-part documentary about the 42nd President of the United States. There wasn't much doubt in the tone of voice that "stick-to-itness" is a virtue, but then what makes Clinton such an intriguing subject for a biographical profile is that it was usually his own vices that made him come unstuck in the first place. And that this was to be the portrait of a flawed man, and not a great one, was explicit from the opening frames of the film, which began with Clinton's moist-eyed apology to America from the White House Rose Garden: "Quite simply, I gave in to my shame," he said.

Councils secure right to say prayers

Councils today regain the power to say prayers before meetings following a Government intervention that it trumpeted as a victory over political correctness.

Leading article: Policing does not need a Prescott

It can hardly be what Lord Prescott intended.

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Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests