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

Fireworks explode over the Houses of Parliament

Plan to charge for Big Ben tours sparks ding-dong with MPs

Tourists are to be charged to climb the Big Ben clock tower for this first time in its 150-year history.

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

Leading article: Fewer drinks on the House, please

It's reassuring to learn from Chris Bryant's description in today's Independent that MPs have generally moderated their on-site drinking, thanks in part to the televising of Parliament and the expenses scandal.

Nick Clegg made a party political broadcast about the Budget a month before George Osborne (pictured) will actually deliver it

Luther star Idris Elba to play Nelson Mandela

British actor Idris Elba is set to portray Nelson Mandela on the big screen.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her foreign minister, Kevin Rudd, were once a 'dream team'

Julia Gillard challenges Kevin Rudd to fight Labor Party leadership contest

The Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has thrown down the gauntlet to Kevin Rudd, challenging him to fight her for the Labor Party leadership and top political office in a ballot next Monday.

'Crazy' train-bus replacements axed

The Government is to axe the "crazy" arrangement where some rail companies get paid twice for replacing trains with buses.

New Maldivian leader expands his cabinet

The Maldives' new President expanded his cabinet yesterday, to strengthen the coalition government that has ruled the Indian Ocean nation since former leader Mohamed Nasheed's resignation last week sparked a political crisis.

A 'ghost bike' memorial to a killed cyclist in Woolwich, south-east London

Roads still no safer for Britain's cyclists

The number of bike accidents has risen, angering the victims' families. By Kevin Rawlinson

Gingrich reaches for the stars (well, the Moon at least)

If Newt Gingrich makes it to the White House, America will launch an ambitious programme to colonise the Moon, according to the latest exotic pledge to emerge on the Republican campaign trail.

Ed Balls (pictured) may have won the economic battle, but George Osborne is winning the war

Summit to tackle satnav wrong turns

The problems that satnavs can cause are to be thrashed out at a Government summit.

Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley at Guy's Hospital before the proposed reforms

Drop perilous NHS reforms, say leading health professionals

Letter to Prime Minister warns that changes will create inequality and 'a deplorable state of affairs'

MPs retreat on payments shake-up

The House of Commons yesterday backed down from calling for Parliament's independent expenses watchdog to be broken up despite continuing anger over the administration of the system.

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General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
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Rainbow shades

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'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power