News Metropolitan Police of officers entering a property in Marcella Road, SW9, as police targeted a notorious gang in a series of early morning raids across the UK

Senior members of one of the country’s most notorious gangs have been arrested after expanding their drug-dealing operations outside of their south London stronghold to target lucrative new markets, police said yesterday.

Property: Remote control? No problem

It is pretty neat at any age to be able to operate the television, video security system, lighting and curtains all from one monitor. But for anyone getting on in age it could be a godsend.

Derry Irvine's new curtains: Draw a lace veil over the Lord Chancellor

It is time people started to think about the Lord Chancellor's human rights - like everyone else he is entitled to a right or two. It really is too bad everyone giving him stick over a scrap of wallpaper and some alleged curtains. I have to say "alleged" because it appears that the curtains - allegedly - are covered by the Official Secrets Act and I do not want to end up in the Tower, not unless of course the Lord Chancellor is going to furnish my cell.

Irvine's pounds 20,000 curtains draw criticism

LORD IRVINE'S new curtains were under a spotlight last night as the Tories homed in on new revelations about the pounds 650,000 refurbishment of his official residence.

Sara draws back the Internet curtains for all

Fans of the Internet site JennyCam, featuring 24-hour live pictures from inside an American woman's bedroom, can now tune into a British version - SaraCam.

The diary of Emma D May: New age, Sloane danger

Sunday 12.01am: Feeling very floaty and odd since return from Amsterdam. May have something to do with finding three grams of the finest Moroccan on Cheesy-jet flight home - which we obviously had to eat in airplane toilet. D. then became convinced plane was going to crash ("We're all going to die!"), alarming red-sweatshirted flight attendants, who looked more like holiday-camp staff than sort of people you could rely on in emergency. Anyway, happy ending to potential drugs-mule nightmare. Customs busted two blokes in front of us instead, for attempt to import two tins of oxtail soup into the UK.

Lyric Sheets: Laughing Len

In homage to the new collection `More Best of Leonard Cohen'

Property: Home Front: In style country, the blind is king

After years of dirty net curtains, knotted cords on boring and dusty Venetian slats or swags listing over to one side, blinds are making a comeback. Rosalind Russell takes a peek at what is available - including translucent glass for lavatories. Thank goodness for Alison White's little perforations. Punched through minimalist Swedish stiffened cotton blinds in colours like lime, steel grey and black, they offer a contemporary alternative to that scourge of suburbia, the net curtain. The tiny cut-outs are square, round or L- shaped, letting in pinpoints of light but keeping out the inquisitive.

Shopping list: Back to the Seventies

Harmony light, pounds 165, Harvey Guzzini, Places and Spaces, 30 Old Town, London SW4, 0171 498 0998

Hanging's too good for them

Leading designer curtain poles and finials cost more than most curtains - but what price perfection, asks Rosalind Russell

In sacramental hospital I sat down and wept

Neil Bartlett addresses the main problem with his latest piece straightaway. None of you, he tells us rather sternly, knows the words to the religious rites of confirmation, baptism or marriage. He is standing at the front of a medical lecture theatre in the Royal London Hospital. Everyone, reduced by the setting to students, shifts nervously in their seats. I try to recall the various sacraments in their right order. Does Penance come before Ordination? What is Holy Eucharist anyway?

Letter: Tow-rags and acrobatic toes

Sir: John Appleton's letter (18 June) referring to the use of tow-rags to clear up messes in hospitals reminds me of a wartime incident involving a nervous young hospital orderly in the Friends Ambulance Unit.

The last gang in town ...

The Tindersticks considered splitting for a while. But after much band-analysis, the six decided that sticking together made perfect sense. Nick Hasted asked lead singer Stuart Staples to explain

Not a pretty sight

With his dark, intensely imaginative stagings of `Three Sisters' and `Titus Andronicus', Romanian director Silviu Purcarete continues to amaze Paul Taylor

Lovers' Guide 1790

OPERA: Mozart's Cosi fan tutte: Opera North at the Grand Theatre, Leeds

Memories go under the hammer in Arms Park sale

Sports fans bought "lots" for their memories when one of the world's most famous stadiums went under the hammer in a unique auction. Hundreds made bids for the contents of Cardiff Arms Park, ranging from sections of the pitch, seating, flagpoles, lighting generators, turnstiles and even the changing rooms.
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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
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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