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.

Flooded fields around the River Tone seen from Windmill Hill, Somerset

UK flooding: January rainfall breaks records for parts of England

… and the Met Office warns there is still more rain to come

UK weather: Whole of Britain warned to expect storms as January rainfall set to double average

Cold snap to give way to heavy rain and gale force winds on Friday

Garry Monk and Chico Flores were involved in a training ground bust-up last week, the club have confirmed

Swansea confirm training ground bust-up between Chico Flores and Garry Monk - but deny reports anyone was 'threatened with a brick'

A member of the public was believed to have rung the police who felt that no further action was required

Police will be issued new scanners, which can instantly call up motorists' licenses

Police to be issued with new scanners which can instantly call up motorists' licences in road-side checks

Rules that grant stopped motorists seven days to present their driving licence at a police station will be swept away under plans to issue officers with hand-held machines that will instantly call up licences.

Referee Nigel Owens escaped unhurt following a car accident on the M4 as he returned from Castres v Leinster on the weekend

Referee Nigel Owens escapes unhurt after car crash on the M4 as he returned from officiating Castres v Leinster in France

Owens thanked those who stopped to check he was ok as he made his way back to south Wales from his trip to France

Nida Ul-Naseer who went missing nine days ago
File image: It is not clear how or why the toilet roll holder became stuck in the man's bottom

Man calls fire brigade after getting toilet roll holder stuck up bottom

Firemen were able to free the man from the object, but he did require medical assistance from paramedics

Fiona Stewart, founder of The Green Man Festival

'It's nice to go bonkers in a field': The Green Man music festival's founder is teaching the world to rock

Fiona Stewart has been able to secure major headline acts without being able to offer the huge fees which they can command at other events

A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas

Ian Watkins: police pursue new leads after former Lostprophets frontman's child sex conviction

Police are pursuing new leads in the Ian Watkins child sex abuse case after a flurry of calls triggered by an appeal for unknown victims to come forward.

Bitcoin is an experimental digital currency that has gained popularity worldwide

Where there's muck there's (virtual) brass: Newport man accidentally throws away hard drive needed to access £4m worth of 'Bitcoins'

James Howells accidentally threw away a hard drive containing the cryptographic "private key" needed to access the digital currency

Energy regulator Ofgem orders power companies to 'cut costs for consumers'

Ofgem tells operators to do their bit to cut bills

The energy watchdog Ofgem waded into the controversy around household energy bills today by forcing Britain’s local electricity network operators to do more to lower costs for consumers.

The Dundee Contemporary Arts gallery

Dundee, Hull, Leicester and Swansea all in the running to be named UK City of Culture

The location of the UK's next City of Culture will be announced tomorrow with Dundee, Hull, Leicester and Swansea Bay all in the running.

A military exercise on the Brecon Beacons

MoD told to tackle risks after heatwave training deaths

HSE issues order after three Army reservists died in Brecon Beacons in July 2013 after demanding SAS selection exercise

The novel cure: Literary prescriptions for modern ailments

Ailment: Internet addiction

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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 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor