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.

On the floor: Houston's 30 licensed strip clubs will have to levy the fee

Strip joint patrons face $5 'pole tax'

Houston levies door fee to pay for the speedier analysis of rape case evidence

David Cameron confronted on visit to flood-hit Todmorden

Prime Minister David Cameron was confronted by a member of the public today as he visited one of the towns affected by the recent devastating floods.

Margaret Hodge: Public Accounts Committee chairman says the controls are not strict enough

Public bodies accused of abusing credit cards

Tougher checks to prevent fraud and abuse when public servants buy goods and services with special purchasing cards have been demanded by spending watchdogs.

Disabled man loses care cost appeal

Judges at the UK's highest court have dismissed a profoundly disabled man's appeal over his care package.

STIs: Diagnoses of increasingly antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea infections rise by 'unprecedented' 25 per cent

The number of diagnoses of the sexual transmitted infection gonorrhoea has increased by an “unprecedented” 25 per cent in the past year, the Health Protection Agency has revealed.

Parking tickets issued every 4.6 seconds

Local councils handed out an increased number of parking tickets last year despite cutting back on traffic wardens.

Chen's brother flees from home

Chen Guangcheng's brother has fled his closely guarded village in eastern China to seek legal advice in Beijing, his lawyer said.

EuroVegas complex plan spawns protest despite jobs boost

It sounds almost too good to be true: at a time when one in four Spaniards are out of work, for the last few months US casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson has been weighing up whether to build a $21bn (£13.3bn) tourist-cum-gambling resort, being dubbed EuroVegas, outside Madrid or Barcelona. And the chosen city may feel it has hit the jackpot: EuroVegas, it is said, will create up to 250,000 jobs.

Adoptees 'wait 20 months' for home

Children in care in England are forced to wait an average of 20 months to move in with adoptive parents, according to new figures.

The Queen's Speech: More rights for divorced fathers

Fathers look set to be given additional rights to see their children after family break-up or divorce, as long as it is in the child's best interests, under reforms set out in the Queen's Speech.

Thousands march in Tokyo as last atomic plant shuts

Activists celebrate as Japan is nuclear-free for first time in 42 years

Ken Livingstone on his way to hear the election results

Livingstone bows out. But can we believe him?

He has broken promises before. Ken Livingstone once said that being Mayor of London would be his last political job, before he made running for the office a long-term occupation.

Higher pay for academy heads

The average salary for a headteacher at an academy is £6,000 higher than that of a head at a local authority school, the Department for Education has revealed.

Simon Kelner: Local papers are the lifeblood of communities

My first job in journalism was as a trainee reporter in Neath in South Wales. Every Wednesday, when the paper was published, I couldn't walk down the main street without being stopped every few paces by someone eager to discuss – or, more likely, to take issue with – something in that day's paper.

The National Front is staging a comeback amid a rising tide of Islamophobia

National Front aims to revive 70s 'glory days'

In the febrile politics of the 1970s the National Front (NF) ruthlessly exploited working-class fears over immigration to create a far-right threat unseen in Britain since Sir Oswald Mosley.

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Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor