News Rob Ford was stripped of most of his remaining powers

The lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday by Scott MacIntyre, alleges that the politician was behind an assault in a Toronto jail in March 2012

Never mind government U-turns, the decision on plain packaging for cigarettes is the right one

Evidence from Australia indicates that uniform packs leave addicts likelier to consider kicking the habit

Cans of lager on supermarket shelf

Pint, pint, pint, fight: How we can help Britain's problem drinkers

Our Demos research looks at three defining areas

Despite a third of 11-15-year olds admitting to having obtained alcohol in the last month in a recent poll, prosecutions of adults buying it for them are at a quarter of the level they were in 2008

Prosecutions for under-age alcohol sales fall to quarter of 2008 level

... even though third of 11-15-year olds have been getting hold of booze

Suspension of rugby players for 'excessive drinking' leads to new set of rules for the Australia's Olympians

The nation's rugby side suspended six players after drinking session before last weekend's game against Ireland

Andrew Kearns revealed 'the culture in his organisation [Glencore UK] is that you can do what you like as long as you make money'

Glencore oil trader on working practices: ‘Make money and you can do whatever you like’

An oil trader who was sacked by the commodities giant Glencore for being late or absent more than 60 times claimed on Monday that the company permitted staff to “do what you like as long as you make money”.

Toronto strips mayor Rob Ford of powers after oral sex TV rant

Mayor told journalists that he did not ask a female employee if he could 'eat her p***y' and later said he was getting professional help

Staff 'should be tested' for alcohol misuse in the workplace

Director of the Alcohol Health Network is calling for screening in the work place to identify 'risky' drinkers

Drunk student crushed to death in a refuse lorry after falling asleep in a wheelie bin

Canadian Garrett Elsey had been in Bristol for less than 24 hours

Fatal accidents on Peru's cliff-top roads are an ongoing issue

Peru 'bus' crash kills 51, including 14 children, on way home from party

The truck full of indigenous Quechua Indians plummeted 650 feet from the road into a ravine

Cyber Culture: We're a nation of mobile network non-movers

The free-market utopia is one where competition is vicious and consumers can easily switch allegiances on a whim. We've seen that in action with the aggressive marketing policies of energy suppliers; I know people who still willingly sign forms on the doorstep at the request of anyone holding a clipboard.

Hangover cure finally found: Sprite

Chinese researchers discover how to stop that morning after feeling before it's even started

A scene from Dark Road, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

Theatre review: Ian Rankin's Dark Road, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

Arguably Ian Rankin’s pre-existing fame as a crime novelist of some note is what holds his first play, written in collaboration with Lyceum artistic director Mark Thomson, back the most. For all Rankin’s experience as a writer, Dark Road is essentially still the work of a debut playwright dressed up and given prime billing amidst the Lyceum’s current season, and in places it can’t help but fold given the weight of expectation placed upon it.

Party bursars hope Margaret Thatcher’s image will swell the party coffers

Tory conference: Any old Iron Lady for sale in the party's curiosity shop

Say what you like about the Tories but they do have a sense of humour. The highlight of this year's conference will be the "Our Maggie" souvenir shop, an emporium of Thatcher-themed tat endorsed by the party.

Diageo began the celebration in 2009

Irish minister pours cold water on Diageo's drinks celebration

Alex White says the firm has 'invented Arthur’s Day' as a 'pseudo-national holiday'

New iPhone apps read blood alcohol levels and hail taxis

Simple to use breathalyser gadgets will help combat drink driving

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there