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Quiet day in the office? In need of some inspiration to fill that slot on the features page? Check out our story ideas here and see if you can take news developments from around the UK and localise them for your patch.

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Who's missing out on medicine?

A quarter of people suffering from diabetes are missing out on vital medication, new research suggests. Drugs such as prophylactic aspirin and statins which prevent blood clots and reduce cholesterol are not available to many of the UK’s 2.3m sufferers.

From surgery to scissors

An NHS anaesthetist with 30 years experience has given up the hospital for the hair salon. Dr Roger Tackley, 56, now owns a salon in Devon specialising in futuristic hair styles. He was so fed up with NHS red tape

The cycle of offending

The number of juvenile criminals reoffending has fallen by 2.3pc between 2000 and 2006, missing the Government’s 5pc target – according to new figures. However, the number of offences committed per 100 young people has come down by 19pc while

Gotta job!

New employment figures show that 60,000 more people were out of work – a total of 1.67m were unemployed between April and June. The new stats also reveal the number seeking jobless benefit rose at the highest monthly rate in

Left-hand drive

Left-handers carry a big advantage when it comes to learning to drive, new research suggests. The study by the AA shows that 57pc of lefties pass first time as opposed to just 47pc of righties. The findings also revealed that

Hedging your bets

The UK’s tallest yew hedge has undergone a bit of TLC at Lord Allen Apsley’s Bathurst Estate in the Cotswolds. The 300-year-old 40ft high giant costs more than £5,000 to trim once a year with workers amassing a ton of

Big Brother may well be watching you

Local councils are being given fresh encouragement to use terror laws to spy on residents, according to the Metro. The laws were originally brought in to access private phone bills and e-mails to catch bombers but increasingly authorities have used

Picking up the pieces

The Highways Agency has launched a new campaign to combat littering on the UK’s major roads. The ‘Bag It and Bin It’ campaign urges motorists to store rubbish in their cars until they can stop and put it in a

The price of education

As the new academic year approaches, students are facing a 20pc rise in rent in just four years according to new figures. Undergraduates can now expect to pay an average of £61.64 a week. Exeter showed the biggest price hike

Most important TV you could ever see

The British Heart Foundation has said people could be putting their lives at risk if they think ‘Hollywood heart attacks’ are actually realistic. The typical movie-style reaction of keeling over and clutching the chest in complete agony could be an

Fancy going electric

More than 70 per cent of motorists would consider driving an electric car to help the environment. The survey, by insurer esure, discovered the biggest support for the idea of ‘going electric’ came from north-west England while Scots were the

Ever wondered where you come from?

A dip into the family archives has revealed that Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd descends from a clothes thief and a man convicted of stealing sugar. His fifth great-grandmother Mary Wade was about 12-years-old when she was sent packing Down

Knock knock – who's there – the world's oldest joke

What could be the world’s oldest joke has been found on a tablet dating back to 1900BC in Sumeria, now southern Iraq. The “hilarious” gag reads: “Something which has never occurred since time immemorial: a young woman did not fart

They're not just skipping in the schoolyard

Nearly three million schooldays were lost due to truancy or other reasons in the spring term this year, new figures have revealed. An estimated 61,000 pupils skipped class without permission and the number of children taking unauthorised holidays has also

Walk on the wild side

Many towns and cities now give you the ultimate chance to get scared – or not – on evening walks around some of your favourite haunts. From Jack the Ripper walks in deepest London town to tours of castle, cellars

Waiting games

Can you name the Seven Dwarves? Or all the children from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? You’d be surprised at how you pass the time when there’s a delay at the airport. Holiday makers have been facing delays recently because