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

Nick Clegg faces calls to distance his party from the Conservatives

Nick Clegg will face calls from senior Liberal Democrats to get "back to basics" and distance himself far more from David Cameron and the Conservatives over the coming month.

Somerset by-election swing to Lib Dems

Liberal Democrats gained from Tories in this week's only reported council by-election amid signs of revival in some areas following the hacking scandal.

Drink-drive deaths fall

Deaths from drink-drive accidents fell sharply last year, provisional Government figures showed today.

Under-fire expenses watchdog quits

The Commons expenses watchdog has quit after coming under fire for refusing to name MPs being investigated for dubious claims.

Londoners urged to 'travel differently' during Olympics

Londoners were today urged to "travel differently" during the Olympics, exactly one year ahead of the likeliest busy day for journeys during the 2012 Games.

Police hand Chris Huhne 'speeding file' to prosecutors

Detectives investigating allegations Chris Huhne made his ex-wife take speeding points for him have handed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Quiet electric cars 'pose no danger' to visually impaired

Warning sounds will not be added to vehicles as government report deems them unnecessary

Near miss for Lib Dems in Wales by-election

Liberal Democrats narrowly missed a shock gain in the latest council by-elections.

Scholarships for the poor

University scholarships should be awarded to poor 15-year-olds in England, Simon Hughes has said.

Lib Dems and Labour in poll advance

Liberal Democrats and Labour advanced against the Tories in the only council by-election in a week dominated by the hacking scandal.

Southern Cross collapse leaves elderly care in limbo

The grim truth about the demise of care home company Southern Cross was confirmed to its shareholders yesterday in an extraordinary meeting which followed news of its closure on Monday.

Clegg faces up to collapse of Lib Dem vote in Inverclyde

Nick Clegg was facing recriminations yesterday after the Liberal Democrats suffered their second by-election humiliation in four months.

Tories slump in their strongholds

Tories saw a big swing to Labour in a by-election for their flagship Wandsworth Council.

Video: 'We must get round negotiating table' - Clegg

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says he has sympathy for public sector workers striking over changes to their pensions.

Ministers move to block debate on circus animals

The Speaker of the Commons, John Bercow, is being urged by MPs not to allow the Government to block demands for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture