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Owner of largest firm in the North East of England concedes move is 'morally wrong' but he says had no choice but to act after local authority warns operators over charging disabled passengers extra

Eighteen killed in Pakistan bus blast

Eighteen people were killed when an explosion ripped through a minibus travelling in a militant-infested area of north-western Pakistan today, police said.

Waitrose and Tesco sold leeks picked by 'slaves', court told

A gang made £10m over four years by recruiting migrant workers and treating them as "slaves" to pick leeks which were then sold to major British supermarkets, a court was told yesterday.

Seat Alhambra

Seat's MPV is longer and wider – but it's lighter, good value, and a pleasure to drive

Two car bombs in Baghdad kill ten

A car bomb near an office of Iraq's National Security Ministry and another near a popular restaurant killed at least 10 people in the Iraqi capital today and wounded dozens, security sources said.

Turkey: Roadside bomb kills nine on minibus

A roadside bomb attack killed nine people travelling in a minibus yesterday in the latest violence to shake Turkey's turbulent south-east, where Kurdish guerrillas have been fighting for autonomy for decades.

Six killed as minibus hits roadside bomb

A minibus packed with civilians struck a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan early today, killing six on board and wounding nine, officials said.

At least twenty killed in India bus accident

Police say at least 20 people have been killed and 15 critically injured in eastern India today when a minibus crashed into a tree and fell into a ditch.

Bus crash girl killed on her 16th birthday

One of the children killed when a school bus crashed in Cumbria was celebrating her birthday, police revealed today.

Pack up your troubles and head for the hills

Derry has risen above its bloody past to become a shortlisted bidder for UK City of Culture in 2013. David Ryan biked its back roads

eBay man guilty of fixing auction

An eBay seller could be fined up to £50,000 after becoming the first person in Britain convicted of bidding on his own goods to raise prices. Paul Barrett increased the value of the items he was selling by bidding on them under a separate user name, in a practice known as "shill bidding".

Once it was a Jag. Now Prezza travels by minibus

Campaigning has been an unpredictable business over the years for John Prescott. Back in 2001, his tour was punctuated by that unforgettable left jab delivered unerringly to the chin of Craig Evans, a local farm worker, who had landed an egg on Britain's most belligerent MP. This time round, Mr Prescott received a warmer welcome – a couple of kisses from two rather more attractive, and supportive, voters.

Blasts in Baghdad kill 17 as early election votes are cast

A string of blasts ripped through Baghdad targeting early voters and killing 17 people yesterday, raising tensions in an already nervous city as early ballots are cast for Sunday's parliamentary elections.

Afghan civilians killed in Nato air strike

A Nato air strike in southern Afghanistan killed at least 21 civilians, the Afghan government said today.

Extreme family: It lacks luxury but a break in the Welsh countryside more than makes up for with all-action adventure

I'm a bit jealous of my children. They get to go on school trips to activity centres, have quadded and go-karted with PGL and often throw themselves around on boats and in tents with the cubs and Woodcraft Folk. I, meanwhile, spend my holidays on a sun lounger with one eye on my BlackBerry, feeling guilty about not using the hotel gym.

Chris Grayling: Vetting must be combined with common sense



All of us agree that we need to check the backgrounds of those in responsible roles working with children. There have been far too many horrendous cases over the years for that not to be necessary.

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own