Sian Smith: 'She's not in trouble. We just want her back'

Prison officers suspended in smuggling probe

Three prison officers at the centre of an investigation into the smuggling of drugs and mobile phones at Britain's largest prison have been suspended, it was revealed today.

Five held after £20m drugs raid

Five men are in custody after a police raid at an Essex warehouse last night.

24-Hour Room Service, The Royal Horseguards

Whitehall is more than a place of high politics – it also has a notable history of providing luxurious digs to eminent guests. Once upon a time, behind the now traffic-clogged Victoria Embankment, there stood the original Scotland Yard. One explanation of its name has it that, prior to the Acts of Union in 1707, Scottish royalty had a residence there reserved for state visits. (The site later hosted the first headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, where less regal guests were temporarily accommodated.) Scotland Yard was part of the Palace of Whitehall, home to English monarchs including Henry VIII and Charles I – both of whom died here. After fire destroyed the palace in 1698, the area was rebuilt with grand, governmental buildings, including a French renaissance-style chateau called Whitehall Court.

The Word On: Murder One

Murder One, the independent mystery bookstore that has occupied several locations along Charing Cross Road ... will shut its doors at the end of January ... Co-owner Maxim Jakubowski [said] the shop would be going into voluntary liquidation, and that all bills to publishers would be paid .... "I would rather close the shop now and go out voluntarily with my head held high"...this is still a huge loss to the mystery community ... Charing Cross Road will lose yet another shop... the indie bookstore world's light shines a bit less brightly.

Hit & Run: Time for a rug rethink

By the time Barack Obama takes the hottest seat on the planet – the one behind the oak and mahogany desk in the White House's Oval Office – his presidential in-tray will be groaning under the weight of America's considerable ills. But not all his decisions will alter the course of national and international history. There is one piece of domestic policy that will nevertheless demand his attention: the small matter of his rug.

Pandora: PA problems bug Tony Blair

The secret paranoia of former statesmen. The former Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson memorably told two journalists: "I see myself as a big fat spider in the corner of the room. Sometimes I speak when I'm asleep. You should both listen. Occasionally when we meet, I might tell you to go to the Charing Cross Road and kick a blind man standing on the corner. That blind man may tell you something, lead you somewhere."

Leading article: Plot twist

A page has turned in the world of literary retailing. Christopher Foyle's decision to step back from running the bookshop founded by his grandfather, William, and his brother Gilbert, feels like a historic moment.

Professor Norman Morris: Humane obstetrician

In 1960 the newly appointed Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Charing Cross Hospital Medical School gave a lecture that greatly annoyed the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. The professor was Norman Morris and in his lecture, "Human Relations in Obstetric Practice", he argued that medical advances over the past 25 years made childbirth less hazardous, but that many serious gaps remained in doctors' understanding of their patients' emotional condition during pregnancy and labour.

Man guilty of murdering woman on first date

Fitness trainer Karl Taylor was found guilty today of murdering businesswoman Kate Beagley on their first date.

My Secret Life: Natasha Law, artist

Born in south London in 1970, Natasha Law is the older sister of the actor Jude Law. An artist trained at Camberwell College, she is renowned for using household paints to create predominantly erotic images, and has illustrated books including Camilla Morton's How to Walk in High Heels: the Girl's Guide to Everything. She lives in Peckham with her husband and three children, and her work will be exhibited at Room on Charing Cross Road, London W1, and the Eleven Gallery in London SW1, from Thurs to 16 Feb.

Hograth, William: Night (from 'Four Times of Day', 1736)

The Independent's Great Art series

From Arsenal unknown to Keane's golden shot, Anthony Stokes has world at his feet

An 18-year-old's scoring spree led to Sunderland pipping boyhood idols Celtic for his signature

Nimax: New players in town

A powerful double act has hit the West End. Simon Tait meets Nica and Max, aka Nimax
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Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'