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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

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Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor