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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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss