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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In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible