News Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and ex-wife Mariam Aziz, pictured in 1999

A former international badminton player who became a bodyguard and close friend to the ex-wife of the Sultan of Brunei abused her position to steal diamonds worth £11.6m from her “extremely wealthy” employer, a court heard yesterday.

Badminton: Home duo claim silver at Wembley

Britain's Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier had to settle for silver as their brilliant run at the World Championships ended in defeat in the final yesterday.

Badminton: Officials reject Robertson's jibe

Badminton England has defended its World Championship preparations after apparent criticism from its top player Nathan Robertson. Robertson and Jenny Wallwork suffered a disappointing first round mixed doubles defeat at Wembley on Tuesday night.

Robertson homes in on Wembley

British veteran Nathan Robertson feels it is time to make home advantage start counting as the 2012 build-up intensifies.

Winners, losers and in-betweens learn their fate in Olympic ticket lottery

When hundreds of thousands of sports fans had money debited from their accounts last month, they knew they had secured a ticket for next year's Olympic Games. But no one who had applied for more than one event could be certain which one they were going to attend.

Skirting the issue: the row smashing the world of women's badminton

Badminton's female stars have forced a climbdown over moves to "sex up" the sport, complaining that new rules requiring them to wear skirts infringe their freedom of movement.

Joules bucks high-street trend with profits leap

The fashion chain Joules has delivered soaring underlying sales over the past year to buck the downturn in the retail sector.

Equestrianism: Collett enjoys dream debut at Badminton

Laura Collett came of age at the Badminton Horse Trials yesterday with a memorable debut performance on board Rayef.

Hold The Back Page: 23/04/2011

It's a big weekend for...

Sectarianism

Or its prevention, containment and punishment.

Disaster fires up struggling school to success

Sporting values helped York High School climb the league tables. Jonathan Brown discovers how

Dylan Jones: 'As soon as I got home, I played my CD of Californian ocean sounds with the Beach Boys over the top'

Twenty years ago, almost to the very day, I was in Carmel in California, about to have dinner at Clint Eastwood's restaurant, the Hog's Breath Inn (at the time he was the town's mayor). As I walked down through the centre of town, I passed one of those generic New Age shops, selling everything from Grateful Dead posters to lava lamps. It also sold CDs of ocean sounds, California ocean sounds to boot. And as I have been in love with the idea of the California ocean from the age of about 10, I had to buy one.

Olympics role for McPherson

England have appointed former international athlete Vikki McPherson as head of Great Britain performance for the London 2012 Olympics. McPherson will take on some of the responsibilities of Ian Moss, who left his post as performance director last week.

Purls of wisdom: Scarlett Thomas on knitting, Zen koans and ships in bottles

It's not even a question of whether the universe is meaningful or meaningless," Scarlett Thomas is telling me. "It's in what way could it be meaningful, or in what way, if it was meaningful, could that be even more meaningless than normal meaninglessness?" She pauses for me to catch up, but I must have betrayed my incomprehension. "That probably didn't make any sense," she laughs. "But maybe when you listen back to your tape..."

Equestrianism: Impressive Ruder takes lead after dressage

German rider Kai Ruder, on Leprince Des Bois, both first-timers here, impressed the judges with a near foot-perfect dressage test to head the leader board at the Mitsubishi Motors Horse Trials yesterday. Their 33.8 penalties put them 5.2 pts ahead of Ruth Edge riding Two Thyme, with reigning European Champion and Olympic gold medallist Kristina Cook on Miner's Frolic just 2.7 adrift in third.

Equestrianism: Townend all set after long-haul trip

British eventer Oliver Townend is a relieved man and happy just to be in Kentucky for his assault on the Rolex Grand Slam.

Susie Rushton: Fencing for all hits the mark

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project