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
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee