How Britain is becoming a SAFER place to live: Rate of murders and violent crime falling faster than anywhere in Western Europe New report reveals UK's murder rate has fallen by half over the past decadeBroadland in Norfolk is most peaceful area and Lewisham is most violentPeople believe they are four times more likely to be attacked than is actually the case , just eight weapons crimes were recorded in the area, which has a population of 125,000 people. The other areas ranked as least violent were Three Rivers in Hertfordshire, South Cambridgeshire, East Dorset and Maldon in Essex. Among urban areas, Cardiff was found to be the most peaceful, along with Sheffield, Nottingham and Leeds
Britain is becoming a safer place: Rate of murders and violent crime falling faster than anywhere in Western Europe New report reveals UK's murder rate has fallen by half over the past decadeBroadland in Norfolk is most peaceful area and Lewisham is most violentPeople believe they are four times more likely to be attacked than is actually the case , just eight weapons crimes were recorded in the area, which has a population of 125,000 people. The other areas ranked as least violent were Three Rivers in Hertfordshire, South Cambridgeshire, East Dorset and Maldon in Essex.
British drivers spend up to three days a year stuck in gridlock as the UK ranks 5th in Europe for time wasted in trafficFindings are revealed today by leading in-car data company INRIXIt found worst hit by jams in the UK are drivers in Greater LondonThe capital is followed by Greater Manchester and Merseyside .' INRIX chief executive Bryan Mistele said: 'There has always been strong correlation between the state of the economy and the level of traffic congestion on our roads. 'It tells us if people are employed and driving to work, going out to eat or doing some shopping, as well as whether or not businesses are shipping products.' He added: 'Considering unemployment hit record highs in 2012 and European household wealth dropped 13.6 per cent it's hardly surprising that traffic levels have dropped significantly.' The report notes: 'The UK capital, London, has moved up the European traffic congestion ranks to become the third most congested city in Europe in 2012.' The report says: 'Drivers in London spent a full three days of 2012 sitting in traffic, that's over a day more than the UK's second most congested city Manchester, where drivers spent 45 hours in congestion.
Feathery fisticuffs: Thousands of revellers across the world get involved in World Pillow Fight Day World Pillow Fight Day took place everywhere from Amsterdam to ZurichTrafalgar Square was overtaken by a pillow flashmob for an hourThere were two rules: Don't hit anyone with a camera or without a pillow By Olivia Williams PUBLISHED: 20:47 GMT, 6 April 2013 | UPDATED: 04:02 GMT, 7 April 2013 A pillow-wielding mob descended on Trafalgar Square today for feathery fisticuffs in front of London's most iconic monuments. Trafalgar Square's usual inhabitants – tourists and pigeons – beat a hasty retreat as a flashmob of thousands gathered for a good old-fashioned pillow fight in the sunshine. Similar scenes were repeated all over the world as part of annual World Pillow Fight Day.
Councils pleading poverty have put 16billion in the bank despite railing against 'Dickensian' cutsReserves up by 15.5%, from 14.2billion in 2011 to 16.4billion this yearA third of councils' annual spending now put straight into the bank | UPDATED: 23:23 GMT, 30 December 2012 Hitting back: Communities Secretary Eric Pickles accused councils of scaremongering Councils have salted away an extra 2.2billion in the last year – while stepping up their campaign against the Government’s ‘Dickensian’ cuts. Official figures reveal that council reserves have rocketed by 15.5 per cent, from 14.2billion in 2011 to 16.4billion this year. The figures emerged as local authorities launched a two-pronged attack on ministers over ‘grossly unfair’ cuts that will require them to trim their budgets by an average of 1.7 per cent next year
The Great Train of China: Longest high-speed rail line in the world is launched – and it runs for a bottom-aching 1,400 milesThe high speed rail line links Beijing and economic hub GuangzhouThe first trains set off from the Chinese capital this morning Journey times will be cut from more than 20 hours to just eight hours PUBLISHED: 17:54 GMT, 26 December 2012 | UPDATED: 02:50 GMT, 27 December 2012 The first trains have taken to the track on the world's longest high-speed rail line which stretches a staggering 1,400 miles across China. The line, which runs roughly the equivalent distance of a journey between London and Gibraltar, will halve the travelling time from the country's capital Beijing to Guangzhou, an economic hub in the south
The school where you are TOLD to paint on the walls: World's first mural institute opens in LyonNew school opened to teach how to paint murals to cover sides of buildingsFounder says he is responding to a growing demand across the worldLyon is considered the world capital of mural paintings | UPDATED: 11:13 GMT, 25 December 2012 With the majority of the world's population now living in cities and towns a new breed of designers are coming through to help create urban settings a little more pleasing to the eye. The world's first ever school for mural art has opened in Lyon, the global leader in the field, in a bid to meet the demand for artworks which can transform cityscapes.
Taxpayers fork out 27,000 for 425 guests to enjoy lavish three-course banquet in celebration of Birmingham’s new Lord Mayor A lavish banquet was thrown for new Birmingham Lord Mayor John Lines The authority has set up a committee to look at cutting costs next yearThe bill looks extravagant when compared to other major UK cities | UPDATED: 16:49 GMT, 18 December 2012 Welcome: Councillor John Lines the new Lord Mayor of Birmingham at his 27,000 Mayor-making ceremony in May A banquet to welcome a cash-strapped city's new Lord Mayor has cost the taxpayer a staggering 27,000.
Santa Claus is coming to town: Thousands of Father Christmases gather in Trafalgar Square for flash mob Weird and wonderful variety of Santas descend on Nelson's Column They sang songs, took photos and handed out presents Annual celebration has gained popularity through social networking sites | UPDATED: 17:23 GMT, 15 December 2012 Thousands of revellers started their Christmas celebrations early by gathering in central London dressed as Santa this afternoon. The annual festive party brought a weird and wonderful collection of Father Christmases to Trafalgar Square.
Welcome to Kabul: Panoramic postcards from the war-torn city circled by mountains (and some of them make you want to visit) | UPDATED: 21:11 GMT, 12 December 2012 Kabul, the war-torn capital of Afghanistan, is not a city for the faint-hearted, and few tourists venture there. Years of war since it was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1979 to the present day have ravaged the city's sprawling neighbourhoods that are now home to 3.2 million people. But as these spectacular picture postcard snaps show, the world's fifth fastest growing metropolis, which stands wedged between the Hindu Kush mountains and the Kabul River, is still as stunning as ever.