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.

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

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

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.

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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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss