News The pregnant Italian woman who was visiting the UK for work, had her baby forcibly removed by caesarean section because she had suffered from mental ill health

Essex Council has said the child, which was removed from mother’s womb against her will, is to be adopted, but top judge has now said any further applications must be heard by him

County Championship round-up: Notts title hopes take a battering after Chambers' destructive spell

Nottinghamshire suffered only their second defeat of the season but it was by an emphatic margin as Essex won by 143 runs at Chelmsford. For the second time in the match, the title favourites were undone by the pace of Jamaican-born Maurice Chambers, who supplemented his first-innings 6 for 68 with four more to notch the first 10-wicket haul of his career.

Round-up: Brittle Essex caught out by Read

Nottinghamshire, the Championship favourites, maintained their momentum by dismissing Essex for 154 at Chelmsford but found batting almost as difficult, stuttering to 72 for 5 in reply before the experience of Ally Brown and captain Chris Read combined to steer them towards parity.

Four face court trial over Parliamentary expenses

Three former Labour MPs and a Tory peer will stand trial over fiddling their expenses and are not immune from prosecution, a judge ruled today.

Business Diary: Fraudsters cash in on BP's woes

Nigeria's formidable fraudsters don't miss a trick. In the latest version of the long-established scam that emanates from the country, an email is doing the rounds purporting to be from Tony Hayward's "private solicitor" appealing for people to help the embattled BP chief get £100m of wealth out of the US before President Obama snaffles it. The fraudsters rather give the game away by repeatedly mis-spelling Mr Hayward's name, but one can't help admiring their ingenuity.

Muslim leader 'lied about BNP kidnap'

A Muslim community leader falsely claimed to have been kidnapped by members of the British National Party after police and a local council spent £1,300 improving security at his home, a jury heard today.

Darfuri teenager killed himself after being told – wrongly – of deportation

The prospect of certain torture in Sudan was too much for Abdullah Idris, but serious failings in Britain led to his death

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: A quiet man with the eye of a falcon

The natural world has its cult books, as the arts world does or the economics world does, if by a cult book we mean a little-known work with a major mystique among a minority; and for a long time now the cult book for anyone who takes a serious interest in the natural world in Britain has been JA Baker's The Peregrine. Published in 1967, and hardly known, if known at all, by the general public, it is an account of a man who spends a winter in the flatlands of Essex and on the Essex coast, closely observing a pair of peregrine falcons.

Pair face 32-year jail terms for 'chilling murder'

A judge today ruled that two "depraved" robbers convicted of the "chilling" murder of an office administrator who refused to reveal bank card details should each stay in jail for at least 32 years, police said.

County Championship round-up: Finn fires in front of chief selector as Middlesex rout Derbyshire

Having begun the season with four straight defeats, Middlesex's fortunes are taking a turn for the better after fast bowler Steve Finn advertised his potential with another impressive performance.

County Championship round-up: Ervine shines but Strauss and Cook still fail to find their form

A dry spring may have yielded a healthy glut of results in the first month of the Championship but it has done nothing for the form of England's two Test captains.

County Championship round-up: Finn roars in with nine

Young English paceman is star of show with best Middlesex figures for 40 years

Don't vote BNP urges Bishop

The next Bishop of Chelmsford today urged people in his diocese not to vote for the British National Party in the forthcoming general election.

Protests on politicians’ first day in court

Labour MPs claim parliamentary privilege in expenses fraud defence

MPs and peer to fight expenses prosecution with 1689 law

Three Labour MPs and a Conservative peer told a judge today they will use a 320-year-old law to argue they should not be prosecuted over the expenses scandal.

Father in court accused of baby's murder

A man was remanded in custody today accused of murdering an eight-week-old baby, police said.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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