True Brit: Johanna Konta, world No 205, defeated three higher-ranked players on her way to the main draw of the US Open in New York

Konta qualifies for US Open main draw at first attempt

The changing of the guard in British women's tennis continues. While Elena Baltacha, so long the standard-bearer, prepares for ankle surgery that will keep her off the court for at least six months, 21-year-old Johanna Konta will make her first appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament outside Wimbledon here this week.

Activists storm Russian Prirazlomnaya oil rig

Greenpeace says its activists have stormed a floating oil rig in Russia's Pechora Sea to protest against oil drilling in the Arctic.

Beats, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

It’s 11pm and there are lights strobing and music thumping as you enter the theatre for Beats. DJ Johnny Whoop, who started out on the 90s Glasgow rave scene, is on the decks while Jamie Wardrop’s trippy visuals throb and pulse on a big screen behind.

The trial cull could see 70 per cent of badgers killed across two areas measuring a total of more than 600 sq km

Activists 'name and shame' farmers in badger cull battle

A government plan to slaughter thousands of the country's best-loved wild animals was always going to be controversial. But the long-awaited badger cull, aimed at stopping the spread of tuberculosis in cattle, now looks set to provoke a campaign of direct action by animal rights activists not seen since the heyday of the fox hunt saboteurs.

The trial cull could see 70 per cent of badgers killed across two areas measuring a total of more than 600 sq km

Badgered: How the cull got nasty

A trial scheme aimed at stopping the spread of TB in cattle looks set to provoke direct action by activists

President Assad attending prayers at the al-Hamad mosque

Assad makes rare public appearance at mosque

The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad tried keep up the pretence that it was business as usual yesterday as he attended prayers for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, but the rare public appearance gave clues to the pressures he is facing.

A man cries in front of houses destroyed during the Syrian Air Force air strike in Azaz

Kidnappings bring Syria's civil war to Lebanon

Foreigners told to leave Beirut after UN report accuses the Assad regime of war crimes

Damascus denies jet was shot down

A warplane that came down in an eastern province crashed because of a technical failure and its pilot ejected, according to state media, while rebels claim they shot it down and captured the pilot.

Shana Cox no longer feels like a 'plastic Brit'

Team GB's Shana Cox no longer feels like a 'plastic Brit'

US-born runner Shana Cox has said that living in the capital makes her feel like a Londoner and ignore accusations that she is a 'plastic Brit'.

Olympic volunteers are believed to be the key to London 2012's success

London 2012: Olympics success down to 70,000 volunteers

The 70,000 Olympic volunteers who have given their time and energy have been the key to the Games' success.

British Wrestling's performance director, Shaun Morley, brushed off suggestions that Ukraine-born Olga Butkevych (pictured) should not have been in Team GB

Wrestling: Team GB has to grapple with questions over Butkevych

British Wrestling was forced to defend its selection policy after Ukraine-born Olga Butkevych was knocked out of the 55kg freestyle women's event inside six minutes.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: So, is Britain too multicultural now?

Jesus! More multicultural crap! More bleedin' foreigners winning our medals! Even cheering with indecent enthusiasm for Team GB! Who the hell do they think they are? And what the hell happened to this great nation? Tory MP Aidan Burley, an immigrant from New Zealand, dissed Danny Boyle's inclusive opening ceremony in a tweet. By now he must be spitting his (probably whitened) teeth. So too the risible journos who've been whinging about "plastic Brits" in the team, an obnoxious term invented for competitors not born in the UK. Like the South African Zola Budd, a white athlete who, during Apartheid, was given British nationality so she could run for Britain. The Daily Mail made it all happen for that "plastic Brit". But today intolerant right-wingers question the motives of non-indigenous sportspeople and are furious they have been chosen to represent the UK.

Another G4S nightmare: 82-year-old nun beats guards to break into nuclear facility

Anti-nuclear protesters' successful incursion expose security failings at uranium plant
Australia's Kaarle McCulloch celebrates after winning the bronze medal in the track cycling women's team's sprint event, during the 2012 Olympics in London

London 2012: Spectator arrested and two others ejected from Olympic velodrome after abusing parents of Australian cyclist

Three spectators were ejected from the velodrome in the Olympic Park and one arrested yesterday after the parents of an Australian cyclist were verbally abused in the showpiece venue.

The BBC's 'athlete body match'

Physique: Have you got the body of an Olympian? Never mind

The Opening Ceremony certainly confirmed that Olympians come in all shapes and sizes. As they paraded around the track, we saw Zhang Zhaoxu, the Chinese basketball player, who towers over every other athlete at the Games at 7ft 3in. There's Asuka Teramoto, a Japanese gymnast, who weighs in at a teeny-tiny 66 pounds. The heaviest competitor is a judoist, a 480lb Guamanian called Ricardo Blas, Jnr.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

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US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

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Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

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Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

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Green Party on the march in Bristol
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