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

Urban Notebook
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
science
News
news
News
people
Life and Style
food + drink
Career Services

Day In a Page

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
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
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
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