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

French President Nicolas Sarkozy says Europe needs Britain

Sarkozy rages at Cameron as euro treaty doubts grow

Nicolas Sarkozy launched a personal attack on David Cameron yesterday amid growing signs that last week's agreement struck by the other 26 European Union countries without Britain is already fraying at the edges.

Leading article: A pass is for elected MPs, not for life

In some respects, the rules are clear. An MP who earns money outside Parliament which relates in any way to his status as an elected member of the legislature has to make a declaration. In writing. In a register that is regularly updated. There are penalties for those who do not comply. The boastful comments of Tim Collins, managing director of Bell Pottinger, as recently revealed in The Independent, might suggest that professional lobbyists, in contrast, live in a world where no rules apply. But that is not so.

EU 26 fight to stop pact unravelling

Several non-eurozone nations having doubts about 'fiscal compact', while Sarkozy inflames divisions with attack on 'kid' Cameron

The Weekend's Viewing: Black Mirror, Sun, Channel 4
Japan Tsunami: Caught on Camera, Sun, Channel 4

I can't remember whether I said something cynical when Channel 4 promised that it would divert the river of money it poured into Big Brother to irrigate original, one-off dramas, but if I did, may I offer a cautious apology.

The week's most amusing spectacle was unquestionably Nancy Dell'Olio at a celebrity event organised by the Huffington Post at Westfield shopping centre in London

DJ Taylor: Clichés – we're all in them together

It's been a bumper week for overworked phrases, self-delusion, and commercial irritations

Parliamentary inquiry into lobbying to call Bell Pottinger executives as witnesses

Nearly two-thirds of MPs want lobbyists registered, though support is lower among Conservatives
Jacob Rees-Mogg, left, appreciates the attire of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves

Diary: Call for decorum in handing out parking fines

Jacob Rees-Mogg, that priceless guardian of liberty, has come up with a cracking idea to improve the manners of council officials empowered to issue on-the-spot fines – make them wear bowler hats.

Ministers told to stop leaks to journalists

Ministers came under fire from MPs of all parties last night for routinely leaking their important announcements to the press.

Ministers to tackle 'national epidemic' of metal theft

Ministers are to expected to launch an assault this week on "crooked" scrapyards in an attempt to curb the "full-blown national epidemic" of metal thefts that threatens Britain's transport network.

Diary: So why is the Queen still waiting to speak?

The poor old Queen must be wondering how many days in her diary have to be kept blank while her ministers send out confusing messages as to when the next Queen's Speech is to be held.

Mario Monti, senator and the prime minister designate

Italian PM ready to announce new government

Mario Monti's race to have an emergency government in place by the weekend appeared assured of success yesterday when Silvio Berlusconi's anointed political heir said that parliament's biggest grouping, the People of Freedom party (PDL), was behind him.

David Cameron and the Australian premier, Julia Gillard, in Perth after the meeting of Commonwealth heads

Cameron and Clegg at odds over repatriation of powers from EU

Liberal Democrat leader says retiring to the margins of Europe would be 'economic suicide'

MP Mike Hancock took 'spy' on trips

An MP who had an affair with a Russian assistant now accused of being a spy paid for romantic trips abroad for them, her deportation hearing was told.

Government's drive to boost electric car sales falls flat

A government plan to make 2011 "the year the electric car took off" appears to have stalled, with uptake of a scheme to promote sales of environmentally friendly vehicles falling dramatically.

MI5 suspected MP's intern was 'another Anna Chapman'

Lawyers for a former parliamentary researcher accused of spying yesterday claimed MI5 had pursued her only due to imagined parallels to a high-profile Russian "honey-trap" case.

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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?