Page 3 Profile: Jack Durand, Scrabble champion

What’s the word on the street?

Council tax set to rise by as much as five per cent

Police costs 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.

US economy growing at 3.2% in fourth quarter

The US economy continued to grow in the final quarter of the year, expanding at an annual rate of 3.2 per cent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The tiny house movement: Could you live in a miniature home?

Advocates argue that living small is not only more affordable but offers an ecologically-friendly alternative

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

Sam Warburton is the first to sign a Welsh central contract

Wales captain Sam Warburton hopes many more will join him after signing central contract with WRU

Warburton became the first to agree a deal with the Welsh Rugby Union that will keep him playing for the Cardiff Blues

Iain Duncan Smith says Council of Europe's criticism of UK benefits system is ‘lunacy’

The UK’s benefits and state pension are too low, the Council of Europe said yesterday – a claim that Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith dismissed as “lunacy”.

In the trenches in France in 1916

A most surprising peacenik: Historian Niall Ferguson says Britain should have stayed out of WWI

The Harvard University professor says the country paid too high a price in terms of the lives lost and the vast debts that were run up during the conflict

ban would only affect England

Lords vote to ban motorists from smoking in cars carrying children

Health campaigners say ban could protect nearly half a million children who are exposed second-hand smoke every week

A protestor is hit by water sprayed from a water cannon during clashes in Taksim Square

The water cannon has no place on London's streets

To bring them in would be deeply damaging to the principle of policing by consent

Mulberry shares plunge after shock profit warning

Shares in Mulberry plummeted nearly 30 per cent in early London trading after the luxury brand issued its third profit warning under chief executive Bruno Guillon.

Four bedroom flat to rent in Marchmont Road, Edinburgh EH9. On with Grant Property for £900 pcm (£208 pw)

London rents are more than double the rest of the UK

The most popular region to rent a property in the UK in 2013 was Aberdeen

Madeleine McCann investigation: Parents said to be on 'tenterhooks' amid reports Scotland Yard team is 'set to swoop on three suspects'

Reports that police are seeking assistance to interview the three potential suspects following suspicions raised by phone records

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

Sarah Taylor and Charlotte Edwards celebrate with teammates after winning the match and retaining the Ashes in Hobart

Women's Ashes 2014: Victory for England 'means everything' says captain Charlotte Edwards

England won today's Twenty20 to retain the Ashes

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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
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South Africa
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Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas