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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General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions