Ben Mitchell

Ben Mitchell is deputy editor of the cross-party blog Speaker's Chair, and contributing editor of Shifting Grounds.

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Amazing CCTV footage shows massive blast as raiders hit petrol forecourt cash machine

Police have arrested a man in connection with a raid in which a petrol station cashpoint machine was blown open by thieves.

A police pulls a car over as part of a drive to inform motorists of the risk of using a phone while driving

I wasn't making mobile call, driver told police. I was only using the internet...

Motorists caught driving while using their mobile phones have blamed "ranting" ex-wives, over-zealous bosses and even childbirth for their offending behaviour, according to police.

Beautiful people are seen as good looking even if they distort their faces into grimaces of disgust, surprise, fear or anger - or that's the theory. Judge for yourself with Pink, Bill Clinton, And Murray and Mila Kunis

Does real beauty even shine through a grimace?

Or doesn't even a smile help unattractive people? Portsmouth university researchers say they have found the answer

<p>Russell Brand, 2007</p>
<p>Never one to shy away from offending, Russell raised a few eyebrows with quips about Robbie Williams’ spell in rehab, the Queen’s “naughty bits” and a British soldier killed in Iraq. ITV received over 300 complaint calls from viewers and Ofcom logged a further 135. </p>

Russell Brand: I recently wanted to take heroin

Comedian and former drug addict Russell Brand has admitted that he is still tempted to take heroin.

Nothing much on: Stephen Gough is the Naked Rambler

Now naked rambler Stephen Gough is covered by a nationwide Asbo

Naked rambler Stephen Gough has been issued with an interim anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) banning him from going nude in public places.

Trafficker jailed for using Polish workers as slaves

A “physical and mental bully” has been jailed for six years and three months for trafficking four men to the UK and exploiting them to work as slaves.

Rizzle Kicks have been confirmed for the Isle of Wight Festival

Rizzle Kicks added to Isle of Wight Festival line-up

Hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks have been added to the line-up of the Isle of Wight Festival along with 1980s favourites T'Pau.

Dappy - real name Dino Costas Contostavlos

N-Dubz rapper avoids jail for garage brawl

N-Dubz rapper Dappy broke down in tears and shouted 'Yes' after he avoided a jail term today when he was sentenced for assault and affray.

Bob Geldof frontman of punk group the Boomtown Rats in 1975

Bob Geldof to reunite with Boomtown Rats for first time in 25 years at Isle of Wight Festival

Bob Geldof is to be reunited with the Boomtown Rats for the first time in more than 25 years at a festival this summer.

Paul Weller has been added as the latest act to appear at the Isle of Wight Festival

'Modfather' Paul Weller joins Isle of Wight festival bill

"Modfather" Paul Weller is the latest act to be added to the bill for this year's Isle of Wight Festival.

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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?