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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

Lee Horscroft: 'The more I looked into it, the more beneficial it seemed to Rhys to leave my job and look after him myself'

Childcare in Britain: Parents paying an unsustainable price for care

Cuts and a postcode lottery exact a heavy toll

News
Oscar Quine takes a stroll along High Street Kensington yesterday in ‘his’ electric blue stilettos
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News
The temples of Angkor, where tourists have been stripping naked
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News
Terry Sue Patt pictured in 1995
peopleTerry Sue-Patt played Benny Green in the classic children's TV show
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The coffin containing the remains of King Richard III is carried on a procession for interrment at Leicester Cathedral on 22 March 2015 in Leicester, England.
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The Queen and the letter sent to Charlie
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Arts and Entertainment
Eurovision Song Contest 2015
EurovisionGoogle marks the 2015 show
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Two lesbians hold hands at a gay pride parade.
peopleIrish journalist shares moving story on day of referendum
Arts and Entertainment
<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
booksKathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
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Liz Kendall played a key role in the introduction of the smoking ban
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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 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?