Care Quality Commission inspections find "very poor care" at some GP practices and Ipsa set to unveil MPs pay rise plan
Inspectors find maggots in surgery
Inspectors have uncovered a catalogue of failings at some GP practices, with medicines stored in a way that puts children and patients at risk of infection and rooms so dirty they had maggots.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) health regulator carried out inspections at 1,000 practices across England and found examples of "very poor care" that put patients at risk.
While many people received an excellent service, a third of surgeries (34%) failed to meet at least one of the required standards on good practice and protecting patients.
Ipsa to set out MPs pay rise plan
The watchdog responsible for MPs' pay and perks is to set out its plans to introduce an 11% pay rise amid threats the controversial proposals could lead to the organisation being axed.
Opposition leader Ed Miliband has called on David Cameron and Nick Clegg to accompany him to a meeting with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) to demand it halts the wage hike.
The Prime Minister has yet to agree to the move but yesterday issued a veiled threat to abolish Ipsa if it presses ahead with the planned rise after the 2015 general election, insisting it was "simply unacceptable" MPs' salaries would increase by £7,600 to £74,000.
Sex offences sentencing overhaul
Sex-offending celebrities could see their public image used against them when being punished as part of an overhaul of sentencing guidance for judges.
Previous "good character" might be considered as an aggravating factor when it has been used to commit a sexual offence, new guidelines drawn up by the Sentencing Council said.
In practice, this means the likes of disgraced It's A Knockout presenter Stuart Hall, who used his fame to commit crimes against women and children, could receive more severe sentences.
Parliament to stage Mandela tribute
Politicians in Westminster will celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela today as a music-filled service to remember the anti-apartheid hero is held in Parliament.
Peers, MPs and invited guests will take part in the commemorative service in Westminster Hall to mark the death of South Africa's first black president last Thursday at the age of 95.
Singer Joan Armatrading, who met Mr Mandela a number of times, will perform The Messenger, a tribute she sang for him in 2001, sparking the former leader to rise to his feet to dance.
Osborne faces grilling by MPs
George Osborne will be grilled today on the fine print of his Autumn Statement as members of the powerful Treasury Committee pick over his claims the Government's economic plan is working.
The Chancellor said critics of his austerity programme had been ''proved comprehensively wrong'' when he delivered his assessment of the economy last week.
Experts have warned growth is being fuelled by consumer spending rather than a business boom and have also warned Mr Osborne could have difficulty making his sums add up following close scrutiny of the measures that were set out.
Fewer foreign prisoners removed
Fewer foreign nationals are being removed from prisons now than four years ago, the Government's spending watchdog has warned.
The National Audit Office said removing more foreign nationals would help reduce prison numbers and save money.
There are around 11,000 foreign national prisoners in England and Wales, making up 13% of the prison population, but the number removed by the Home Office has dropped by 14% over the last four years.
Success ‘more nature than nurture’
Genes are a bigger influence on GCSE exam results than teachers, schools or the family, new research has shown.
Scientists studied the extent to which genetics contributes to academic success in more than 11,000 identical and non-identical 16-year-old twins.
They concluded the DNA a child is born with accounts for more of the differences seen in exam scores than what happens in the classroom or at home.
Australian court halts gay marriage
Australia's highest court has struck down a landmark law allowing the country's first gay marriages, shattering the dreams of more than two dozen same-sex newlyweds whose marriages will now be annulled less than a week after their weddings.
The federal government had challenged the validity of the Australian Capital Territory's law that had allowed gay marriages in the nation's capital and its surrounding area, starting last Saturday.
The federal government's lawyers argued that having different marriage laws in various Australian states and territories would create confusion. The ACT, which passed the law in October, said it should stand because it governs couples outside the federal definition of marriage as being between members of the opposite sex.