Ralph Blackburn

Ralph Blackburn is a freelance journalist interested in politics, foreign affairs and sport. He grew up in Cambridge before studying history at Newcastle University, and is also a fanatical Newcastle United fan.

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Tulisa Contostavlos during her abandoned drugs trial in July

Scotland Yard puts pressure on BBC over documentary on 'fake sheikh'

Panorama programme will show relationship between News International reporter and police
Michael Egan testified against Rudy Kurniawan

The wine detective: Meet the go-to expert for exposing fake vintages

In his biggest case yet, Michael Egan has just helped send a master fraudster to prison for 10 years
Barristers line up outside Southwark Crown Court on 6 January

Legal aid cuts: In the new landscape, it's the lawyers who could now suffer

Public access work allows barristers to bypass solicitors to gain clients on fixed fees agreed in advance
Jerzy and Angela Dyczynski from Australia visiting the crash site yesterday. Their daughter Fatima, 25, was on the plane

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: Russia says it will end terrorism pact with the EU

Kremlin warns further sanctions over Ukraine will jeopardise security arrangements
Scarlett Johansson in Lucy

The underused brain? It's all in the mind: Film-makers' much-loved idea that we only use 10 per cent of our grey cells is a fiction

People like to believe the myth so they can blame their shortcomings on supposed useless parts of their own brain, claims academic
Marching through London yesterday against the ‘secret’ EU/US deal which is backed by all three main political parties

Protesters fear trade deal with US will 'carve open' health service

American companies could bid for any NHS contract under new agreement

University fees: The price is up but where's all that extra cash going?

Turnover is up, the living wage stays down and protests continue. What's going on?

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Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy