The latest stories from the Home section of the BBC News web site.
Updated: 11 min 5 sec ago
MLAs at Stormont should employ staff on the "basis of merit", according to the independent body which sets their pay and expenses.
Funding for up-and-coming British tennis players will be severely cut in a bid to develop more top-100 players.
Online search giant Google is shutting down its Google News service in Spain before a new intellectual property law is introduced.
At least six Afghan soldiers are killed by a suicide bomber on the outskirts of the capital Kabul, police and officials say.
A new offence is to be created to stop paedophiles soliciting explicit photos from children via mobile phones or the internet, the prime minister says.
A concert in memory of Ann Maguire, the school teacher who was fatally stabbed in her classroom, is to be held later.
Police forces in England and Wales could be stripped of their power to deal with complaints made against officers under new plans from the home secretary.
The United States House of Representatives passes a bill that will impose sanctions on Venezuelan officials who violate protesters' rights.
Would you pay 10% of your income for a daily barrel of water to cook, clean and drink?
We must fully understand the IS phenomenon before we can begin to tackle it successfully, says Mark Mardell.
Is Christmas cruel to reindeer involved in displays?
Comedian sparks 'natural' look debate online
Bruce Lee lookalike finds internet fame
Unemployed people with mental health problems should be moved from welfare-to-work schemes to specialist programmes, according to the charity Mind.
Scotland's new tax collection agency is criticised by auditors over delays in recruiting staff and developing computer systems.
The man leading the public inquiry into the Edinburgh trams fiasco tells BBC Scotland key figures refused "point blank" to co-operate.
Japanese voters go to the polls this weekend, where they are widely expected to re-elect current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
South African bank Investec apologises after the headline "I can't breathe" on a research note causes an uproar on social media.
Asian shares fall again Thursday as falling oil prices continued to fuel global growth fears.
Police in Hong Kong prepare to move in on student protesters who have blocked roads in the city centre for more than two months.