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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea