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.

House construction at 90-year low

House construction is set to plunge to its lowest level for 90 years as councils have cut their home-building targets by more than 270,000 in the past two years, a report warns.

Petrol bombs thrown at police in continued North Ireland protests

Two petrol bombs were thrown at police in Northern Ireland last night but protests over the flying of the Union flag were largely peaceful.

Threat of jail for woman who shouted at her husband

A woman has been given an Anti-Social Behaviour Order after she repeatedly kept her neighbours awake at night by shouting at her husband.

The Christmassy way to tell your neighbours you hate them

A woman called Sarah Childs in Denham Springs, Louisiana has erected a giant Christmas light display in the shape of a hand flipping the bird.

Britain's most vulnerable children assaulted and sexually abused while shunted around care homes

Some of Britain’s most damaged and vulnerable children have been assaulted and sexually abused while being shunted around a series of care homes far from home, according to a damning report out today.

Editorial: Doctors must join the world of 24/7

When the new NHS Commissioning Board publishes its first planning guidance on Tuesday, a central proposal will be that hospitals and GP surgeries should move towards a seven-day working week. Such a change is long overdue. It is 15 years since the reform of Sunday trading laws allowed shops to open every day of the week. Yet hospitals remain stuck in a culture of nine to five, Monday to Friday.

Homes, G4S style: Rubbish, rising damp... and 'roaches'

Another shambles as security giant leaves asylum seeker living in squalor

Manchester Police target 'Mr Bigs' of organised crime in dawn raids

Police have launched a series of early morning raids against the “Mr Bigs” of organised crime.

Case study: Shaun Collins, 53, was sleeping rough in a Barking churchyard earlier this year. No Second Night Out were alerted and he was taken to a hostel in Islington

Don’t give the homeless money, call this hotline, says minister at charity launch

Giving money or food to a homeless person won’t do them any good, the housing minister has said, as welfare charities launch a “homelessness hotline” billed by the Government as an alternative to hand-outs.

Belfast city centre: Loyalists protest at lowering Union Flag yesterday

Thirty officers injured by loyalists in Belfast Union Flag protests

Police in Northern Ireland were last night at full stretch as sporadic loyalist protests over flag-flying broke out in many areas in and around Belfast.

Loyalists in Glengormley protest against the Union Flag being removed from Belfast city hall

Unflagging hatred: the new symbol of violence in Belfast

David McKittrick reports on a community that feels it is losing control and status

Council set to axe another 900 jobs

Up to 900 full-time posts are set to be axed at a city council less than two years after 2,000 jobs were cut.

Manchester Airport hub approved for take-off

A £100 million freight and warehouse complex could be built at Manchester Airport after the plans won outline planning permission from the city council.

Lettings market has become property industry's "wild west"

89% of voters in key marginal constituencies agree it should be compulsory for agents to register with a regulatory body

CBI urges Chancellor to pump £1.5bn into economy

Chancellor George Osborne, pictured, should use his autumn statement to plough £1.5bn into the economy and kick-start growth, the main trade body for business said yesterday.

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Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
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Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
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Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
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The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing