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.

Mark Bridger says he he accidentally killed April Jones

April Jones trial: Evidence against Mark Bridger is 'overwhelming', court hears

Prosecutor says case 'stands strongly and compellingly' in closing speech

Bluebells are usually one of the first indications that spring is on the way

Kate Humble: Signs of spring are everywhere, even in the chill

Spring has been a long time coming this year, a feeling exacerbated, I suspect, by the fact that we have barely seen the sun since last March. Remember last year? Spring made a tentative start in January and by the end of March the bluebells were out, most of us had had at least one barbecue and we were looking forward to a long hot summer. Then April came, and with it, the rain, which didn't stop.

48 rescued as tourist boat runs aground of Welsh coast

Forty eight people have been rescued from a passenger boat after it hit a rock on a Welsh island this afternoon, coastguards said.

MMR vaccination up-take remains too low among the worst-hit 10 to 18 age group

50,000 MMR vaccinations so far in battle to halt Welsh measles epidemic

But up-take remains too low among the worst-hit 10 to 18 age group

Christian Jolley of Newport County celebrates scoring a goal during the Blue Square Bet Premier Conference Play-off Final

Blue Square Premier: Newport back after 25 years

Newport County will return to the Football League after a 25-year absence after two dramatic late goals gave them victory over Welsh rivals Wrexham at Wembley.

Scott Sinclair

After a £6.2m move and just three starts, Scott Sinclair could leave Manchester City

Manager Roberto Mancini drops hint that the former Swansea player's future could lie away from the Etihad

Five-year-old April was last seen playing out on her bike close to her home in Machynlleth, mid Wales, on the evening of October 1

Police call off the search for missing April Jones

The search - one of the largest in UK history - was due to end this month

Measles could hit two million children

As many as two million schoolchildren are susceptible to measles due to their lack of the MMR vaccine scare, a leading health expert has warned.

Liberty Stadium

Swansea seek to raise capacity at Liberty Stadium

Swansea City have announced plans to increase the capacity of their Liberty Stadium by more than 12,000 seats in another reflection of the boom in Welsh football.

Margaret Thatcher funeral: Welsh miners pay respect despite anger towards the former Tory prime minister

Traditional Welsh respect for the dead has ensured that few have an appetite for public protest

An MMR jab is administered

Thousands of Swansea children still to have MMR jab as fears over scale of epidemic worsen

Health Secretary urges parents whose children aren't vaccinated to take action

Woman in hospital after home attack by American bulldog

A dog which savaged a woman has now been destroyed, police have confirmed.

Swansea measles outbreak: Confirmed cases rise to nearly 700

A big increase in measles cases has prompted health bosses to renew a plea for unvaccinated people to get their MMR jabs immediately.

Established campaigner Alison Young put in a steely performance in the Laser Radial event

Seven Palma World Cup golds for British sailors

Palma World Cup golds for Alison Young and Giles Scott topped the seven-medal haul for Britain’s sailors at the conclusion of the Princess Sofia Trophy in Mallorca yesterday.

Jacqueline Thompson: blogger who waged 'campaign of harassment' against council chief ordered to pay £25,000 damages

A blogger who waged an “unlawful campaign of harassment, defamation and intimidation” against a council chief executive has been ordered to pay him £25,000 libel damages.

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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
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003