News Charities say drug users are switching to alternative drugs created in laboratories because they know they are not breaking the law if they are caught in possession

Proposals "fetter UK's discretion", insists crime minister Norman Baker MP

Less than a fifth of race hate complaints are investigated by police

Exclusive: Race hate - a crime the police will not solve

Community leaders say they no longer trust police to investigate offences as fewer than two out of 10 allegations of race hate are followed up by officers

The trend for mephedrone-type drugs is more prevalent among university-age users and older teens

Legal highs found on shelves in petrol stations

Petrol stations, takeaways and newsagents across Northern England are stocking ‘legal highs’ like “peanuts in a pub”, as drug sales spread from ‘head shops’ to the high street, a report from a major drugs charity claims.

Nick Clegg delivers his speech in east London

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: We heard Nick Clegg’s apocalyptic rhetoric on Europe loud and clear

Nick Clegg’s first words were “I hope you can all hear me”; puzzlingly, since he was speaking through a microphone and there were only a couple of dozen of us in the audience.

Pair of tickets on the Orient Express for a round trip from Peterborough, including dinner (£235 per person)

Rail fares capped – but at £500 you could still go to New York or Dubai for the price of a ticket

Campaigners reject Government attempt to assuage anger over rising train prices

'Mix and match' plan could spell the end of one way train fares costing almost as much as return tickets

Plans for a pilot scheme that could see all long-distance rail tickets sold on a single-leg basis and allow passengers to 'mix and match' each ticket type when planning a return journey

Drink-drive deaths soar by 25 per cent after decades of decline

An estimated 290 people were killed in drink-drive accidents in Britain in 2012

Plans are afoot to grant motorists a 15-minute grace window allowing them to park on double yellow lines

Eric Pickles's plan to give 15-minute grace on double-yellow lines is denounced as 'unworkable'

Lib Dems split over support for cabinet colleague

Shoppers to be allowed to park on double-yellow lines for 15 minutes under Eric Pickles policy

But motorists could face stiffer fines for dangerous parking

Lib Dems roll out plans for free bus travel for children

Children across the country could be offered free bus travel under plans being considered by the Liberal Democrats.

Railways winning war on cable theft as delays are halved

Authorities are winning the war against metal and cable theft on the railways, according to latest figures.

Simon Burns, minister responsible for train fares, uses £80,000-a-year chauffeur-driven government car to 'avoid overcrowded trains'

News is likely to provoke more anger from commuters still reeling from the New Year inflation-busting rise in train fares last week.

Private land wheel clamping banned

Cowboy wheel clampers will be outlawed from clamping vehicles on private land from tomorrow as new legislation comes into place.

Osborne plans to soften the blow of child benefit cut for richer families

Plans to soften the blow from withdrawing child benefit from higher-rate taxpayers will be announced in the Budget later this month.

Mitt Romney goes into tomorrow’s “Super Tuesday” boosted by his wins in Michigan and Arizona last week

Romney aims to regain aura of inevitablity as 'Super Tuesday' electoral contest looms

Exasperated with a primary process as protracted as it has been vicious, Republican Party grandees are looking to see if Mitt Romney can at last regain an aura of inevitability in tomorrow's "Super Tuesday" contests across 10 states.

Politics in Russia are no longer wholly predictable

Ever since 24 September last year, we have known the name of the winner of today's Russian presidential vote. That was the day when Vladimir Putin ended long-running speculation and instead of allowing his protégé, Dmitry Medvedev, a second term in the Kremlin, announced to Russia and the world that he would return himself.

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?