News A Muslim woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, arrives at Blackfriars Crown Court in London where a judge has ruled that she will be allowed to stand trial while wearing a full-face veil but must remove it while giving evidence

Home Secretary's comments come after judge rules that woman must remove full-face veil to give evidence during trial

OBITUARIES : Enid Lakeman

Newspaper letter column editors will henceforth have a much lighter postbag. Few individuals have had greater tenacity for a single cause than Enid Lakeman had for electoral reform over the past 50 years. Her commitment to preferential voting and her ability to apply a rock-solid foundation in theory to the practical opportunity of the moment, serviced by the simple combination of a good press cuttings service and an increasingly battered typewriter, enabled her to produce a swift and sharp resp onse toeach and every electoral nonsense or wayward statement. Not even the most far-flung of local newspapers was immune to a Lakeman thunderbolt. Most of them were so surprised to get a letter from a London office that they printed them.

Labour in Blackpool: Directors enjoy rich pickings from privatisation

DIRECTORS of privatised utilities have enjoyed individual profits of up to pounds 470,000 this year by exercising lucrative share options, writes Barrie Clement.

Bunhill: Oxo Tower

A SORDID question of money is preventing the Oxo Tower on the south side of Blackfriars Bridge from reappearing in all its glory. This splendid monument to commercial ingenuity represents a successful effort to dodge the ban on advertising on the banks of the Thames by arranging the windows in the tower to spell the three magic letters, with red lights to spread the name at night.

BR preparing to run expanded strike service: Sixth Wednesday stoppage set to go ahead

BRITISH RAIL is expecting to run more than 20 per cent of the normal train timetable during the sixth 24-hour strike by signal workers, which starts at midnight tonight.

London walks: Row, row your boat gently up the Thames: Michael Leapman traces the race for Doggett's Coat and Badge from London Bridge to Chelsea

One of London's least-known annual events is the race for Doggett's Coat and Badge, to be held next Tuesday at 6.15pm. In 1716 the actor Thomas

Artefacts

New galleries proliferate. From May, the unlikely location of Eastleigh, Hampshire, will boast 'the largest commercial gallery in southern England'. Michael Gaca, director of the Beatrice Royal Art Gallery, is still looking for artists to fill his huge space, but has already divided art into 12 types. Most are self-explanatory (interiors, abstract), but it will be interesting to see what turns up in the room labelled 'Art of the Unexpected'. Any artist keen to exhibit should call 0703 610592.

Corporation is attacked over charity secrecy

MEMBERS of the City of London corporation have drawn up secret plans to use millions of pounds from a trust fund, which maintains four of the capital's bridges, to set up a charity.

BOOK REVIEW / Post-imperial distress signals: William Scammell reviews three know-it-all collections

MONOSYLLABIC, throwaway titles are currently de rigueur. Self-abasement is the order of the day, for we have grown very humble about our place in the cosmos, our crimes and misdemeanours. Jokes are OK, too, and puns, and a syntax that almost falls over itself to embrace prepositions rather than the imperialist swagger of verbs and nouns. The last thing a modern poet wants to do is to seem to presume. Yet this last-ditch knowingness - been there, touched dirt, got the guilt - is simply the obverse of those flag-waving certainties practised by the Cro- Magnons of two or three generations ago.

Captain Moonlight's Notebook: Lobbies worth loitering in

I WENT on a tour of London's foyers last week, to try to understand why Jacques Attali approved pounds 750,000 to be spent on new marble walls for the entrance and public areas of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development - one among many items of the bank's expenditure which has caused dismay and outrage. My tour showed that a passion for grandiloquence is not confined to French intellectuals who want to make 'statements' about the purpose of the institutions they head.

Column Eight: Grand Met has it taped

This week's Big Brother prize goes to Grand Metropolitan. Our man at yesterday's annual meeting of Grand Met's shareholders was discovered - heinous crime - with a tape recorder and told to surrender it to security men before going into the meeting.

New Customs chief warns against free trade abuse: Colin Brown meets Valerie Strachan, the next chairman of Customs and Excise

VALERIE STRACHAN won a European woman of the year award for her work in bringing down the barriers to free trade on 1 January. But, as the chairman- elect of Customs and Excise, she is promising a crackdown on revellers who abuse the system.

Edinburgh Festival Day 20: Reviews: Shameless Extras

Over the last three years, Talking Tongues have won wide acclaim for their intense two-woman shows. Their subject has always been trust and vulnerability within a claustrophobic relationship. This year, writers David Farr and Rose Garnett have developed these concerns in an incisive dialogue underpinned with lying and deceit. Rachel Weisz and Sasha Hails perform with neat timing and precise characterisation, but the play's framework (a chance interview between two possible killers) is defused by a weak ending.

Edinburgh Festival Day 18: From Heaven Through the World To Hell

Teatr Provisorium presents a pacy dramatic collage, assembled from Goethe's Faust, Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, Thomas Mann's Faust, the Book of Job and other texts. It's like a tragic cabaret, illuminating its ghastly subject - the nature of evil - with dazzling and bitter wit. Janusz Oprynski's inventive direction is complemented by Jan Maria Kloczowski's propulsive score which drives the plot. Even the most baleful moments (such as a meditation on the death of Eurydice, taken from the poet Zbigniew Herbert) are performed with lugubrious irony by the Polish two-man cast. In spite of the weight of the subject and the seriousness of its treatment, it is impossible not to leave laughing. Richard Demarco Gallery, 17-21 Blackfriars Street (venue 22), 031-557 0707. 9.30pm. To 5 Sept.

Edinburgh Festival Day 10 / Eclipsed

Locked up in a Colditz-style penitentiary in deepest Ireland, fallen women expiate their sin by scrubbing the dirty linen of a community which disowns them. Patricia Burke Brogan's first play shows four such women, forbidden from seeing the men or babies who got them there in the first place, living out their days smoking furtive cigarettes, planning escape and even staging a mock- wedding with Elvis as groom. The play starts slowly, but its strength grows with appealing performances.

THEATRE / Real Time: Edinburgh Festival Day 4

It is the eve of Yom Kippur, 1973, in Tel Aviv. A group of immigrants gather in Eva's Bar to celebrate the festival under the shadow of war. Interspersing dialogue with magical visual images, Tmu Na tell the stories of each of the displaced people. Under delicate lighting and through precise changes of mood, the audience is drawn into the characters and into the celebrations. There are moments when the story-telling loses pace, but the visual invention of directors Nava Zukerman and Yael Sagie never falters.
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Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

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House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

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When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

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War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

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Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

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Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

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