Sport Alex Rodriguez is said to be involved in the latest drug scandal rocking baseball

Six years after supposedly closing the books on its “steroid era”, baseball is embroiled in a new drug scandal that has already felled one of its top stars, and could end the career of Alex Rodriguez, its highest-paid player.

For the angler with everything: FISHING LINES

All the fishing magazines are full of what to buy for keen anglers this Christmas. So in keeping with giving readers what they want, I have found a few tasteful selections so those who know nothing about the sport can choose a tasteful, practical but original gift.

Murder accused 'psychotic'

A student accused of murdering a stranger in an imagined SAS initiation test was psychotic and showing early signs of schizophrenia at the time of the attack, an Old Bailey jury heard yesterday.

Games: When it pays to keep a very steady hand

ALTHOUGH not recommended for the drinking classes, games requiring a steady hand and keen eyesight are currently in vogue.

Toolbox: Job done sharpish

AN EVOCATIVE photograph, taken early this century, depicts an itinerant knife-sharpener plying his trade in the middle of what is now my home town's busiest crossroads. Closer to the present, I recall reducing the blade of my Boy Scout jack- knife to blobs of molten metal while attempting to sharpen it with a big, fast-turning abrasive wheel.

Will it be a rod, a whip or a pair for Sir Thomas, MP?

TODAY we continue the serialisation of our sizzling Parliamentary novel, 'All-Night Session'] The story so far: Suzanne Smallwood runs the Westminster advisory service for MPs who are having trouble with their marriages, or indeed having trouble with other people's marriages. Today she is talking Sir Thomas Tankerton MP through his marital problems . . .

Scarlet and black: ventriloquist on the edge: Max is no dummy and his mouthpiece takes risks in their cabaret act. James Rampton talked to them

Max is a feisty black cabaret performer resplendent in immaculate dinner-jacket, red bow tie and big Afro hairdo. He tours an unforgiving circuit - working men's clubs, 'gentlemen's evenings' and works dos. In such schools of hard knocks, he has learnt how to put down hecklers. 'Was it a defect at birth?' he asks a persistent offender, before adding: 'Isn't it a shame when two cousins marry?'

GLOSSARY / Tradition? Not just a case of pedigree, chum

CHURCHILL wasn't fooled by the word. 'It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash,' he famously replied when someone objected to proposed reforms on the ground that they were against 'naval tradition'. The remark came to mind when I read the Police Federation's recent advertisement protesting about the Sheehy report. The proposals, it suggested, would 'destroy a whole tradition and culture of service'.

Table Tennis: England landed in sticky situation: National council upholds glue ruling for World Championships

ENGLAND has made a rod for its own back when it competes under its own set of rules in the World Championships which start here today - while every other participating nation uses another.

Letter: Rod, line and carp

Sir: Andrew Brown's claim that 'It was not until the Second World War that people learnt that they could catch carp with a rod and line' is wide of the mark.

Letter: Anglers' old pursuit

Sir: The interview with Chris Yates, author of The Secret Carp, by Andrew Brown ('Carp fisherman hooked on cane rods and semolina', 26 August) coupled with your beautifully serene photograph, will have given pleasure to many.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot