Sport On your bike: Atherton hopes her success will inspire more young women to try the sport she loves

Rio is now in the sights of World Cup champion who has capped a highly successful year by being named the first BT Sport Action Woman of the Year

The former Bryn Estyn Children's Home in Wrexham, one of the homes being investigated. A video was released earlier by police where Chief Constable Mark Polin gave a statement regarding new evidence

'There was no escape': Victims open up as North Wales care homes probe uncovers 'systemic and serious sexual and physical abuse' over three decades

Operation Pallial has now identified 140 allegations relating to 18 care homes, including 76 completely new complaints

Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, who was one of the five victims killed in a house fire in Prestatyn, North Wales

Jury considering verdicts over house fire that killed five

A jury has retired to consider its verdicts in the trial of a woman accused of starting a house fire which killed five members of the same family.

Police make first arrest in North Wales children's homes abuse inquiry

A man has been arrested by officers investigating allegations of serious sexual abuse at care homes in North Wales, police have confirmed.

Councillor faces explosives charges after Denbigh evacuation alert

A town councillor has been charged in connection with a series of suspected explosive incidents which saw residents in a Welsh town evacuated from their homes, police said today.

Two held after series of 'explosions' in Denbigh

Two people were held in custody last night by police investigating suspected explosive incidents which saw residents in a Welsh town evacuated from their homes for two nights in succession.

Snow in Sheffield

Whatever happened to spring sunshine?

March's dismal weather has been breaking records. David Randall reports on the disruption and chaos that have hit most of Britain

Mile-long zip wire opens in North Wales offering thrill-seekers an 80mph ride 700ft above the ground

A mile-long zip wire in Penrhyn Quarry, North Wales has opened to the public this week, making it the longest zip wire in the northern hemisphere.

Disabled woman harassed over payday loan debt

Debby Clarke had a phone call from her distressed 87-year-old mother last month. She was told that her sister Nicola, who has severe learning disabilities, was distraught after being unable to pay for her care provider.

A body has been recovered by search teams involved in the hunt for missing Irish vet Catherine Gowing

Man who murdered Irish vet Catherine Gowing jailed for life

The man who murdered Irish vet Catherine Gowing has been jailed for life and will serve a minimum 37 years.

George North's dad enters the pitch to congratulate his son

'Before I knew it, I was on the pitch': George North's dad explains Paris pitch invasion

George North explains how his dad 'lost his head in the excitement' after coming onto the pitch to celebrate Wales' match-winning try

A body has been recovered by search teams involved in the hunt for missing Irish vet Catherine Gowing

Man admits missing vet Catherine Gowing's murder

A man has admitted murdering Irish vet Catherine Gowing.

The police faces fresh scrutiny over integrity and standards after it emerged that forces had ignored guidelines to fuel a boom in second jobs for officers and staff.

Sharp fall in number of police officers under 26

The number of young officers serving in police forces has fallen by almost half in two years because of the pressure on senior officers to cut budgets, according to new figures.

Some 2,600 offenders are held at the six prisons targeted for closure

Grayling ploughs on with plan for ‘super-jail’

Minister sets out scheme for UK’s biggest prison despite warnings that concept is discredited

Man swept out to sea over New Year is named

A man who was swept into the sea in gale-force winds, leading to a search operation involving Prince William, has been named by police.

Fields covered by floodwater near Apperley in Gloucestershire after days of almost relentless downpours

True to form, soggy 2012 ends with another drenching

Rain swept across south western parts of Britain today, bringing a sodden end to what is likely to be one of the wettest years on record.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform