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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans