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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A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
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Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory