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.

Diary of a Supply Teacher: 'Using a hula hoop is not like riding a bicycle'

I have passed a day without major mishap, but for the last period of the afternoon I am expected to join a Year 11 PE class. They have a double period, so will presumably already be doing whatever is expected, and I imagine I shall simply be mildly bored. I meet the previous cover teacher in the corridor and note her four-inch heels and pencil skirt. Plainly, she has not been expected to participate.

GCSE pass rate rises to 98 per cent as pupils put quality before quantity

Choosy teenagers recorded the biggest rise in top grade GCSE passes for almost two decades yesterday – partly by taking fewer exams, in subjects they were best at.

Badminton: Emms and Robertson over and out

Nathan Robertson's return, as he and his partner Gail Emms faced a second match point in the badminton mixed doubles quarter-final, went over and out. Which meant the Britons were out. And he and Emms were over.

Badminton pair suffer loss

Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson saw their Olympic dream wrecked when they lost their mixed doubles quarter-final to Korea's Yongdae Lee and Hyojung Lee 21-19 21-12.

Badminton: 'Scary' Emms and Robertson smash way into quarter-finals

Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson tapped into the same volatile chemistry which helped them to a silver medal four years ago to rescue their Olympic ambitions yesterday.

Badminton: Robertson and Emms upset odds

Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms dipped in to the chemistry which saw them win a badminton mixed doubles silver medal in Athens to surge through the trickiest of first round ties in thrilling fashion.

Mary King: Eventing is a high-risk sport. That's what makes it so exciting

The Brian Viner Interview: Despite its genteel image, equestrianism is a tough business and few riders have shown the steel of the 47-year-old about to compete at her fifth Olympics

Equestrianism: Liebherr shows no mercy once more

Christina Liebherr, who held the lead for Switzerland after last year's opening speed leg of the European Championships, proved that LB No Mercy still has a smart turn of foot when winning yesterday's Preis von Nordrhein-Westfalen at the Aachen Super League Show in Germany.

Equestrianism: Touzaint savours 'dream' victory

An emotional Nicolas Touzaint dropped both reins and waved his arms in triumph after becoming the first French victor of the Badminton Horse Trials and collecting this year's record first prize of £60,000.

Equestrianism: Hoy steers Moon Fleet into the lead

Andrew Hoy held the advantage when the dressage phase of the Badminton Horse Trials was completed yesterday. In contrast to Zara Phillips, who had an uncomfortable ride on the uncooperative Ardfield Magic Star, the Australian and Moon Fleet were in accord – apart from some uncalled for jigging up and down on the spot during the first halt.

Gail Emms & Nathan Robertson: 'I don't like losing at all. Even in practice, I get really angry'

Brian Viner Interviews: Britain's most successful badminton duo suffered a setback last week at the European Championships but, if the will to win displayed by the male half is anything to go by, they will be battling for Olympic gold in Beijing

Capital exodus: Why London families are sending their children to boarding school

The day that her eight-year-old son started boarding is vivid in Alexandra Lloyd's memory. Her husband took the day off work and the family watched the funniest film they could find. Tom changed in to his school uniform in front of the television and they piled into the car with his luggage.

Turf love: Dandelions, thistles and common mouse ear can be a menace to your lawn. Here, Anna Pavord gets tough with the bullies ++ Diary of a Dorset garden

I'm fretting about our front lawn. And I'm fretting that I'm fretting. I can't believe that I've finally joined the ranks of those who care about the state of their turf. It's pathetic. All my life, I've only expected a lawn to be greenish and flattish. Now a plague of dandelions makes me jump up and down with rage. Weeds with wide spreading skirts - dandelions, plantains, thistles - are a menace in lawns. By flattening themselves against the ground, they prevent anything else sharing their food and drink. For them, it's a great survival strategy. For grass, it's a disaster.

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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

Mark Hix goes summer foraging

 A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

Aaron Ramsey interview

Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men