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.

Student jailed for Muamba tweet loses appeal

A student who mocked soccer star Fabrice Muamba on Twitter after he collapsed with a heart attack lost his appeal against a 56-day jail term today.

Firefighters feel the heat as dry weather brings rise in wildfires

A fire brigade chief claims wildfires are becoming more common earlier in the year in the UK, as services across the country fight to control blazes.

South Wales man arrested over Muamba tweets

A man has been arrested after allegedly making racist remarks on Twitter relating to critically ill soccer star Fabrice Muamba.

Golden day: Tony McCoy and Jonjo O'Neill with Synchronised and the Gold Cup

Another day, another race to win for McCoy

After the sweet fruit-packed jam of a Cheltenham Gold Cup win, it was back to bread and butter yesterday for the human heroes, at least, of the hour. Of those involved on Friday, the horse, Synchronised, had by far the easiest time; after an hour or so of pats and adulation at Jackdaws Castle stables during the morning, he went off to mooch round his paddock and relax until teatime.

How We Met: Sarah Hall & Owen Sheers

'We swim in the Cam, but only for 30 seconds, otherwise we'd go blue'

Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton (far left), world champion boxer Nathan Cleverly (centre) and Cardiff City captain Mark Hudson all hope to taste victory this weekend

Cardiff chasing a triple crown

Wales in rugby and Cleverly in the ring tomorrow – but they really will be singing in the Valleys if the Bluebirds can beat mighty Liverpool on Sunday, writes James Corrigan

Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton (far left), world champion boxer Nathan Cleverly (centre) and Cardiff City captain Mark Hudson all hope to taste victory this weekend

Boxing. Rugby. Football: Cardiff chasing a 'Triple Crown'

Wales in the rugby and Cleverly in the ring – but they really will be singing in the Valleys if the Bluebirds can beat Liverpool

Pregnant girl's murderer jailed for 35 years

A former nightclub bouncer has been jailed for a minimum of 35 years for murdering a pregnant teenager two weeks before she was due to give birth.

Murdered teenage mother-to-be Nikitta Grender

35 years for Nikitta Grender's killer

A former nightclub bouncer was jailed for at least 35 years today for the rape and murder of heavily-pregnant teenager Nikitta Grender.

IPCC to investigate 'lost' Cardiff Three papers

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is to investigate whether officers ordered the destruction of documents which caused the collapse of a multimillion-pound police corruption trial.

Holt-led Norwich rally leaves Swans flapping

Swansea City 2 Norwich City 3

Mental illness group goes into administration

St Luke's Healthcare, which treatsand looks after adults and adolescents with mental health problems and brain injuries, has gone into administration.

Ice breaker: On-loan Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates scoring Swansea’s first goal

Cool Sigurdsson keeps Swansea blazing away

West Bromwich Albion 1 Swansea City 2

Former Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Prescott

Diary: Will nobody step up and be Cameron's local copper?

The election of Police and Crime Commissioners is "at the heart of the Government's plan to cut crime", we have been told. So the Government will be pleased to see some big names showing an interest in running for the elections, scheduled for 15 November, even if they are not Conservatives.

Bouncer 'murdered teenager'

A nightclub bouncer stabbed his cousin's pregnant girlfriend to death after raping her, a jury heard.

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own