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
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness