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.

Leighton Baines could receive a new contract as reward for his loyalty to Everton over Manchester United pursuit

United wanted England star to hand in transfer request to force a move to Old Trafford but 28-year-old was still at Goodison Park when the transfer window closed

Manchester robbery: Pensioner, 87, dies in hospital after being beaten in his home

Frank Worsley was woken up by an intruder who broke into his house

Housing staff ‘may be target of bedroom tax protests’

Staff at a housing association have been warned against wearing their uniforms outside working hours for fear of being attacked by anti-bedroom tax protesters.

Ashes 2013: Alastair Cook confident Kevin Pietersen will be fit for third Test

Calf complaint has made batsman a doubt

Shinji Kagawa shakes hands with his manager Jurgen Klopp during his time at Borussia Dortmund

Transfer news: Manchester United forward Shinji Kagawa rejected chance to re-join Borussia Dortmund reveals Jurgen Klopp

Kagawa has spoken about a desire to return to Dortmund one day but for now his focus is on United

Michael Cope was arrested on Friday night after police were called to an address in Leigh, Greater Manchester

Fugitive Michael Cope charged with murder of ex-girlfriend Linzi Ashton

A wanted man who handed himself in after nearly a month on the run has been charged with the murder of his ex-girlfriend.

Ashes 2013: Kevin Pietersen still doubtful for Old Trafford Test

England are continuing their anxious wait over Kevin Pietersen’s fitness for the third Test in the Ashes series.

Lightning at Poole Harbour; violent thunderstorms are expected over weekend getaway

Weather warning: Britain braces itself for worst weekend of the year to be on the roads

Severe weather warning as 'torrential rain' disrupts holiday getaway traffic for millions

Two teenage girls arrested in connection with Manchester blaze that killed fireman Stephen Hunt

Firefighter Stephen Hunt was part of a team responding to a fire at Paul's Hair World in Oldham Street

Man is arrested in connection with assisting an offender by police looking for Michael Cope

Michael Cope is wanted by Greater Manchester Police in connection with the murder of mother-of-two Linzi Ashton

Joan Smith: 'Until Hall suddenly changed his plea to guilty, he lied through his teeth about his assaults on girls'

BBC veteran Stuart Hall to be sentenced for sex assaults

Hall initially denied the allegations as 'pernicious, callous, cruel and above all spurious'

Zak Hardaker: I want Tomkins' position

Zak Hardaker, who will revert to full-back tonight for Leeds in their rearranged Super League match against Widnes, has insisted he will fight for a starting full-back place for England with the autumn World Cup on the horizon.

England captain Kevin Sinfield attempts to break the tackle of Sia Soliola

England defeat Exiles but fears over captain Kevin Sinfield

Steve McNamara's side record 30-10 victory but both Sinfield and Gareth Ellis leave with nasty looking injuries

Essex v Lancashire match report: Essex skittled for just 20 on day of humiliation

Essex 273 & 20 (Mickleburgh 10; Chapple 5-9); Lancashire 398 (Katich 122; Masters); 4-72 Lancashire win by an innings and 105 runs

Owen Coyle

Wigan confirm Owen Coyle will succeed Roberto Martinez after the former Bolton manager beats Steve McLaren to the post

The Scot returns to management following his dismissal by Bolton last year

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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes