News Council tax set to rise by as much as five per cent

The amount paid by households towards the cost of policing looks set to rise by up to five per cent this year as the Government faces a potential show down with its flagship Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) who are demanding above inflation increases in council tax to combat swingeing budget cuts.

Friends and Family carry the coffin of comedian Frank Carson through the streets of Belfast after a funeral mass at St Patrick's Catholic Church

Final farewell to comedian Frank Carson

The funeral of the comedian Frank Carson took place yesterday in his home city of Belfast. Showbusiness figures from Britain and Ireland attended the requiem mass at St Patrick's Church.

Teenager 'repeatedly raped by gang'

A teenager was repeatedly raped by members of a gang who used alcohol and threats of violence to force her to comply with their demands, a court heard today.

Blizzards to batter UK again

Snow and high winds are set to batter parts of the UK over the weekend, forecasters warn.

Cannabis farm uncovered just yards from police station

A cannabis farm has been discovered just yards away from a city centre police station.

Mustafa Ameen (left) sat with officials during Amir Khan’s title fight, then climbed into the ring with winner Lamont Peterson

Lamont Peterson camp hit back in Amir Khan row

Amir Khan has blamed "everyone and everything" for his controversial defeat by Lamont Peterson last month, according to the new champion's trainer and manager Barry Hunter.

Roberto Mancini has not ruled out a tattoo for his left leg if City win the title

How Roberto fell in love with Manchester

For Mancini, it is just like Milan – he even likes the weather. Now his remaining ambition is to knock Sir Alex off his perch – starting with victory in the FA Cup tomorrow

Mark Steel: Do OAPs need a £14m bonus as well as pudding?

Almost everyone connected to the elderly or care homes has insisted the Government addresses the issue of the lack of care homes. So the Government has agreed to look into it. One possible cause it might find, if it investigates thoroughly and consults enough people, analysing everything with great care, is that it has cut the number of care homes. Obviously, the Government couldn't know in advance that reducing the number of something might result in there being fewer of them. But as it is now setting up a group to look into this matter, I suggest that the person put in charge is Tina Taylor from Bolton.

Mark Steel: Do the elderly need a £14m bonus as well as pudding?

Almost everyone connected to the elderly or care homes has insisted the Government addresses the issue of the lack of care homes. So the Government has agreed to look into it. One possible cause they might find, if they investigate thoroughly and consult enough people, analysing everything with great care, is that they've cut the number of care homes.

Anuj Bidve, a student at Lancaster University, was shot dead in Salford, early on Boxing Day

Salford student killing is being treated as hate crime, say police

Racial motive possible in Boxing Day shooting previously considered a random attack

Anuj Bidvehad been in the UK for only three months when he was shot in Manchester

Police treating student's murder as 'hate crime'

The murder of an Indian student who was gunned down at point-blank range on Boxing Day is being treated as a "hate crime", police said today.

Fourth arrest in Salford killing

A fourth person has been arrested by police investigating the fatal shooting of an Indian student.

Second teenager arrested over Salford shooting

A second teenager has been arrested in connection with the shooting of an Indian student as he visited a city with friends.

Khan knocks Peterson down

Boxing: Amir Khan loses appeal over docked points

Amir Khan's appeal against his defeat by Lamont Peterson has been rejected by the International Boxing Federation, according to reports.

Man questioned over widow's death

A man arrested in connection with the death of a widow, whose handbag containing her husband's ashes was stolen by muggers, is still in police custody.

Artificial pitch recycling plans

Artificial pitches could make a shock comeback if some Football League clubs get their way.

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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own