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

John Rentoul: The wackiness has gone from No 10

David Cameron protests too much when he suggests that the departure of his adviser Steve Hilton will change nothing
President Sarkozy speaks at an EU summit in Brussels yesterday

Sarkozy suffers a ‘horrible week’ as Hollande increases lead in polls

It has been a black week for Nicolas Sarkozy. At a pivotal time in the presidential election campaign, he has suffered what one French newspaper described as “une semaine horribilis”.

A woman in Tehran shows off the ink print that shows she has voted

Obama warns of military strike as Iran goes to polls

President Barack Obama warned he should be taken seriously when he says he would consider military action to stop Iran getting a nuclear weapon.

Eric Joyce will not fight the election expected in 2015

Assault charge MP 'to stand down'

An MP suspended from the Labour Party after being charged with assault has said he will stand down from Parliament at the next general election, it was reported today.

UK's voice heard in EU, says David Cameron

Britain secured a number of key demands at the European Union to boost jobs and growth across the continent, Prime Minister David Cameron said today.

Johannesburg pensioners tune in

80 years of the BBC World Service

For eight decades it has brought a bit of Britain into the homes of listeners from America to Zanzibar. Peter Popham hears its birthday broadcast

Christopher Tappin claims he is a victim of entrapment on the part of the US authorities

Christopher Tappin makes first court appearance

British businessman Christopher Tappin has made his first appearance in court after being extradited to the US.

Surge in complaints against banks over pension, insurance and mortgage deals

Tens of thousands of consumers have been forced to take their PPI claim to the ombudsman

The 'Sunday Times' photographer Paul Conroy was successfully smuggled to Lebanon

Assad's revenge: rescue mission gets British photographer out alive – but 13 Syrians are killed in process

Confusion reigns as President Sarkozy claims wounded French reporter has been liberated from Homs as well, only to go back on his word later

Christopher Tappin and his wife at Heathrow today

Christopher Tappin extradition 'highlights problems'

The extradition of a British businessman has highlighted problems with the treaty between the UK and the United States which are not "readily curable", the Attorney General said today.

The Olympic rings displayed outside the Tower of London

London 2012 Olympics 'will be under budget'

The Government will confirm today that the £500 million contingency budget for the Olympic Games remains unspent, MPs have been told.

Charm offensive: Prime Minister Julia Gillard poses with the colours of the Australian rules football team Western Bulldogs at the club’s family day in Melbourne

Gillard's victory settles question of who is the top dog

Bitter, divisive battle for leadership of Labor Party sees PM win out – for the time being

Government funds for film academy

The Government hopes to bolster the British film industry by setting up an academy to train the next generation of directors to follow in the footsteps of Danny Boyle and Tom Hooper.

George Osborne leaves 11 Downing Street in London

New Tory right in call for deeper cuts to public spending

Measure would allow greater flexibility over tax thresholds and steal Lib Dems' thunder

Sport
footballHe started just four months ago
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
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One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
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(L-R) Amanda Peet as Tina Morris, Melanie Lynskey as Michelle Pierson, Abby Ryder Fortson as Sophie Pierson, Mark Duplass as Brett Pierson and Steve Zissis as Alex Pappas in Togetherness
TV First US networks like HBO shook up drama - now it's comedy's turn
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect