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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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Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game