Ministers set to act over smoking

Plain cigarette packs 'on the way' for UK

Ministers could announce plans to introduce plain packets for cigarettes later this year, reports suggest.

Lucky Strike makes BAT a winner

Booming sales of Lucky Strike in western Europe and Latin America were behind an 8 per cent rise in operating profits at the cigarette giant British American Tobacco.

President Vladimir Putin signed an anti-smoking bill into law yesterday

Putin signs law banning smoking in public places

President Vladimir Putin signed an anti-smoking bill into law today that looks set to transform Russian public life. The legislation will see smoking outlawed in government buildings and other public institutions from this summer, and in all restaurants, bars and cafes from next year.

The gruesome cigarette packaging that could become a design classic

The Design Museum in London includes controversial cigarette packaging in list of possible 'Designs of the Year 2013'

Jamie Heaton, two, died in the explosion in Buckley Street, Oldham, last year caused by Andrew Partington

The accidental revenge of a jilted boyfriend that killed a two-year-old boy

Andrew Partington cut the gas pipes in his Oldham home after his girlfriend left with their children

John Poole: chemist, scholar and librarian

Dr John Poole: Highly valued Commons librarian

I have never understood why MPs require research assistants (I never had one, nor claimed for one). The House of Commons Library has among its staff many scholars who will supply objective information, often very promptly. Working among gifted contemporaries covering other fields was Dr John Poole, who from 1966 until his retirement in 1990 was Head of the Science section of the Library. Indeed, he was the founding father of the provision of serious scientific fact to Parliament.

Nick Goodway: You can still bank on Imps as Osborne's taxes go up in black market smoke

Two distinct messages come out of Imperial Tobacco's latest trading update. The first is that cash-strapped smokers are turning to the black market in numbers probably not seen since the Second World War.

Editorial: A welcome unintended consequence

The primary motivation behind the ban on smoking, which was introduced in July 2007, was the desire to protect bar staff and the like from the pernicious effects of their customers' carcinogenic habits. Only legislative naysayers considered the effect on the nation's children, and only then to warn that parents unable to smoke elsewhere would puff away more heartily than ever at home.

How 'Mr Marlboro' Mokhtar Belmokhtar's reign of terror struck fear into the heart of Mali

Kim Sengupta meets the ordinary people with first-hand knowledge of the one-eyed warlord

Call from cross-party peers to legalise 'low-risk' drugs

Some drugs should be decriminalised with the least harmful substances regulated and sold in shops, a cross-party group of peers recommends today in a report set to reignite the legalisation debate.

Poll: As cigarettes go up to $20 a pack in Australia, how much would you pay?

The Australian government have announced a plan of tax increases which will see the price of a standard packet of 20 cigarettes rise to over $20 (£13) in the next 5 years.

China publishes a plan to reduce smoking

China publishes its anti-smoking plan

China on Friday published a plan to reduce the world's largest population of smokers as part of a 2005 treaty, without implementing recommendations such as warning labels that include photos of rotten teeth and diseased lungs.

Soldier with post traumatic stress disorder took two hostages at knifepoint

A soldier suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a tour of duty in Afghanistan held two members of his unit hostage, beating and threatening to kill them before attempting to kidnap them, a court martial heard.

Cigarette companies ordered to apologise, but is junk food the new tobacco?

Pointing the finger of blame at others for our poor health and obesity isn't acceptable.

Postcard from... Jerusalem

A few puffs during a Hebrew production of David Mamet's The Old Neighbourhood has extinguished theatrical smoking in Israel for ever.

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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
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?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower