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.

Amir Khan lands a punch on Carlos Molina

Boxing: All goes according to plan in latest Amir Khan adventure

Flawless matchmaking helps relationship with new trainer Hunter get off to a promising start

Editorial: Obama's chance to act on guns

The President has shown that he can make progress through compromise

Boxing day murderer 'Psycho' Keiran Stapleton attacks prison chaplain

A murderer who labelled himself “Psycho” after murdering an Indian student in the street has tried to attack a prison chaplain.

Council set to axe another 900 jobs

Up to 900 full-time posts are set to be axed at a city council less than two years after 2,000 jobs were cut.

Rescued: The scene in Somerset yesterday

Flood risk rises as more heavy rain is forecast

Storms expected to carry on into this week

Alec Bell, 66, Philosophy: “There is a gap between the generations now and adult education seems to have ceased to exist. I will be teaching philosophy from January. I will initially offer two-hour introductory lessons related to the basics: how we feel about life, and things like that.”

Meet the Amazings! Keeping knowledge alive

Older people with special skills are teaching the younger generation via an online marketplace

Sir Cyril Smith, flanked by Alan Beith (left) and Paddy Ashdown, in
the Commons, where he spent 20 years as the outspoken MP for his home town Rochdale

Sir Cyril Smith sex abuse allegations: Police to reinvestigate claims former Liberal Democrat MP molested young boys

Greater Manchester Police said it would be investigating allegations that Smith molested boys at a hostel from 1974 onwards, while Lancashire Police said it will investigate claims before 1974

Shafilea Ahmed's parents have been convicted of killing her

Shafilea Ahmed's sister avoids jail after judge describes “extraordinary and terrifying story” as a “case for mercy”

The sister of honour killing victim Shafilea Ahmed was spared jail today when she was given a 12-month suspended sentence for organising a robbery at her parents' house.

Eric Taplin

Eric Taplin: Pioneering historian of dock labour

No social historian of 19th-century Britain and no expert of labour history in port cities will fail to have read Eric Taplin's pathbreaking 1986 work The Docker's Union: a study of the National Union of Dock Labourers 1889-1922. It shifted the focus of British labour history from artisan elites and factory workers to the casual labour forces and labour markets that dominated Britain's major cities after the industrial revolution. Such workers had until then failed to find their historian.

Man's body found in Lancashire after 2005 murder

Police have found a body in the hunt for a man whose disappearance seven years ago resulted in his girlfriend's ex-husband being jailed for murder.

Jimmy Savile's former flatmate Ray Teret released on bail

Jimmy Savile's former flatmate and chauffeur was released on bail today after he was arrested over historic abuse allegations.

Accrington Stanley appoint Leam Richardson as manager

Accrington have appointed Leam Richardson as their new manager.

Javier Hernandez’s spectacular diving header put United back on track

United are shaken but not stirred

Since lifting the European Cup in Moscow four years ago, Manchester United have had an awful lot of trouble with teams beginning with B. They have been knocked out of the competition in successive seasons by Barcelona (twice), Bayern Munich and Basle – and last night they came close to embarrassment against Braga.

Sir Norman Bettison, West Yorkshire's chief constable, faces call to resign

Bettison 'must go now' over Hillsborough says former police authority head

West Yorkshire Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison should stand down now, according to the man who chaired his police authority until a fortnight ago.

Pair quizzed over house-fire deaths in North Wales as police name victims

Police have named a woman and two young children who died in a house fire as they continue to question their neighbours on suspicion of murder.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?