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.

Some of the alleged crimes took place at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

Birmingham neurosurgeon Nafees Hamid charged with 10 further sex offences

The 50-year-old had already been charged with sexually assaulting a female patient

Birmingham hit-and-run: Wolverhampton man charged with causing death of elderly cyclist by dangerous driving and failing to stop at scene

A man has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving after a hit-and-run in Birmingham that killed an elderly cyclist.

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.

Nikki Sinclaire MEP

MEP Nikki Sinclaire 'overwhelmed' by support as UK’s first 'sex-change parliamentarian'

MEP Nikki Sinclaire says she is “overwhelmed” by the volume of support she received after revealing herself as Britain’s first “sex-change parliamentarian” after undergoing gender reassignment surgery more than two decades ago.

David Cameron insists that squeeze on public-sector spending is permanent

Prime Minister outlines vision of money-saving, slimmed-down government after 2015 election

Former Tory chief whip Andrew Mitchell

Plebgate: IPPC criticises police officers over 'false account' of meeting with Andrew Mitchell following Downing Street gates row

Watchdog says that there should be a panel to determine whether three police officers gave a false account of meeting

Five women rescued as police raid suspected brothels in Birmingham

Two women and three men arrested following late-night raids

Microlight pilot killed after crashing into electricity pylon

A man has died after his “microlight” aircraft crashed into an electricity pylon in Staffordshire.

Rebecca Shuttleworth was described as a 'monster' by police

Keanu Williams death: Mother who beat child to death was 'invisible to authorities' thanks to 'collective failure' of Birmingham child services

Serious case review concludes that professionals involved in care of Keanu Williams failed to meet even basic standards of good practice

Teachers stage one-day strike in defiance of Education Secretary

Thousands of schools close as staff members protest Michael Gove’s refusal to open dialogue on pay, pensions and workload

Industrial action - the latest in a wave of regional strikes - has been organised by two of England's biggest teaching unions

Thousands of schoolchildren affected as teachers strike over pay

Industrial action - the latest in a wave of regional strikes - has been organised by two of England's biggest teaching unions

Book of a lifetime: The Old Wives' Tale, by Arnold Bennett

My friend Lottie Moggach gave me the Penguin Classics edition of this book and the truth is that I never got around to reading it. The appeal of "classics" rather gets knocked out of you when you study English Literature at university. There always seemed to be better things to do than tackle 615 pages by a writer better known for an omelette than for his work.

Hot shot: In-form Karen Carney scores the first goal for England yesterday

England 6 Belarus 0 match report: Karen Carney fires superb hat-trick as England's women cut loose

Karen Carney's superb first-half hat-trick helped Brent Hills present a strong case to take over as permanent head coach of England women after this demolition of Belarus in their opening World Cup qualifier in Bournemouth yesterday.

Chief constable Suzette Davenport and murder victim Kevin Nunes

Top officers may face charges over cover-up claims

Police chiefs are among force staff who could face prosecution for perverting the course of justice in murder trial

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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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before