Chalk talk: Stephen Twigg may still get one last chance to make a mark

All the talk has been of cabinet reshuffles in the run-up to the party conference season – but now it looks like they may be delayed until after it is over.

Jails are being ‘used as holding pens’ for foreign ex-offenders

People who have served prison terms are being kept behind bars while they wait to be deported, government data shows

Rebekah Brooks

Ian Burrell: Day of reckoning over phone hacking will see most of News International's former hierarchy in the dock

The day of reckoning over phone hacking is almost upon us and almost the entire former hierarchy of News International will be standing in the dock. No wonder Rupert Murdoch quietly dropped his directorship of the company at the weekend.

4,000 foreign criminals at large in community despite being earmarked for deportation

Nearly 4,000 foreign criminals are still at large in the community despite being earmarked for deportation, it emerged last night.

Guy Savage: The man from P.I.N.N.E.R.

To his neighbours, Guy Savage was just another well-to-do resident of suburbia. Now he's fighting extradition to the US as an alleged global arms smuggler

Steve Richards: Coalition's liberalism is straining under the demands of power

Currently, virtually every political figure is a liberal. The term is as fashionable as "progressive". It also invites a thousand different interpretations

Diary: Armchair Field Marshal still fighting the last war

Although only a fool would reach a firm conclusion about Ed Miliband's leadership so soon, one omen suggests he'll do fine. Armchair Field Marshal the Lord (David) Aaronovitch has come to a firm conclusion about Little Ed's leadership, declaring him no leader at all. Writing in The Times, the fearless Parker Knoll warrior deconstructs Ed's conference speech to paint him as a posturing student politician of the kind who might answer every University Challenge question with "Trotsky".

Darling urges David Miliband to accept Shadow Cabinet role

Alistair Darling delivered a public plea last night to David Miliband not to turn his back on the party following his dramatic defeat to his younger brother in the Labour leadership election.

Mandelson book tells how Blair discussed plot to oust Brown

Tony Blair played an active role in Labour's agonised debate on whether to ditch Gordon Brown before this year's general election, according to Lord Mandelson's memoirs published today.

Don't blame it on the burgers

For years, fat has been thought to cause heart disease, diabetes and obesity. But new evidence suggests it may not be the culprit after all. Jerome Burne reports

Brown battles to cling on to power

A struggle for power broke out today as Britain voted for a hung parliament with the Conservatives as the largest party but Labour refusing to hand over the keys to Downing Street.

Nevin's Notes: An alternative take on the election

*Now it gets dirty. Well. Nick Clegg was warned he would now come under close scrutiny. Let me tell you a few things that have been mentioned recently: 1. His mother is Dutch. 2. His father is half-Russian. 3. His spin doctor is German. 4. His wife is Spanish. 5. He has lived in Hungary. 6. And Belgium. 7. His children have Spanish first names. 8. He speaks a lot of foreign languages. 9. His children are on holiday in Spain. 10. He once worked as a ski instructor in Austria. Are you getting the picture, or pintura, as he doubtless says? No? How about this exclusive: you know that in Scotland a clegg is a horsefly? I can reveal that it has the exactly the same meaning in Norwegian. Enough said?

Greens drop by-election bombshell on major parties

Mainstream parties were routed in an astonishing council by-election result just days before Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to call a general election.

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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there