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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