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.

Edinburgh Zoo's giant panda Tian Tian 'could give birth within two weeks'

Zoo keepers are now monitoring her round the clock

The Post Office franchise plans will lead to 1,500 job losses and poorer customer service, the CWU says.

Crown post office workers prepare for strike

Staff in Scotland walk out, to be followed a day later by England, Wales and Northern Ireland, covering 373 branches

Nick Helm pays homage to Evel Knievel in his brilliant Edinburgh show

Edinburgh Festival 2013 comedy review: Nick Helm strips down physically and emotionally

Comedian thoroughly earning his award nomination

Council denies help to people who spend on luxuries

A council has become the first in the country to reveal it denies emergency hardship payments to tenants affected by the ‘bedroom tax’ if they are seen to spend too much on “luxuries” such as cigarettes, alcohol and satellite television.

My Edinburgh: Doc Brown, comedian

I feel something of a sham writing a piece on "My Edinburgh" this year. I am "doing" Edinburgh, a bit like Prince Harry "did" Glastonbury. I spent the first three quarters of the fest doing my fair share of sweating – mainly from the searing heat of the Caribbean, blogging for the Jamaica Tourist Board (those blogs don't write themselves) while my comic peers risked trenchfoot and mouldy lungs in the squalid basements of dampridden Scottish boozers. And now I rock up for the final week, rolling out my new show with the type of positive energy one feels after a vigorous massage.

In a month of uncertainty, the only constant in Edinburgh is pie

It’s impossible to combat the unhealthy lifestyle that comes hand-in-hand with an assault on Edinburgh

Will Adamsdale (right) and Fraser Ayers star in 'Stuart: a Life Backwards'

My Edinburgh: Will Adamsdale, comedian/actor

Look, Edinburgh's insane, it doesn't make sense at all as a viable idea. If you try and understand it rationally, you're liable to end up swaying on a bench half way up Arthur's Seat, half-crazy. They should stop calling it the Edinburgh Fringe. There are fringes on the fringe and fringes on the fringes of the fringe. Sometimes it's brash and gaudy, other times handmade and naive and great. It's everything. It's maddening but beautiful. It is also – as a pal once said – all we've got.

Oscar-nominated American actress and singer / songwriter Elizabeth McGovern, star of Downton Abbey

My Edinburgh: Elizabeth McGovern - Goodbye, Lady Cora, I'm all ready to rock the festival

On Saturday morning, one day after wrapping Season Four of Downton Abbey, I gently laid Lady Cora down, and put her  to bed for a while. (In a lovely Four Poster, His Lordship, securely by her side). I then packed my bags, and headed  to Edinburgh to perform with my  band "Sadie and The Hotheads". We have played with each other, on and off, for a decade, but this is the first time we have performed at the Fringe festival.

Dan Skinner

My Edinburgh: Dan Skinner on the wonderful, glorious, unholy mess that is the Fringe

The Edinburgh festival is like the Death Star. You can try and escape, but you are eventually, inevitably, dragged back in by its powerful magnetic force. I am preparing to ‘go up’ again, to use the industry parlance. I decided two years ago that I wouldn’t for a good long while, but I went up last year as a punter and I’m going up again this year to perform in a show called Classic Entertainment Starring Mr Winchester and Tommy! Since you’re asking. It’s on at The Pleasance at 8.20. Since you’re asking.

Witty, lucid, sharp: Andrew Marr’s back – and it’s bad news for Alex Salmond

Matthew Bell witnesses a tour de force by the convalescing TV presenter in Edinburgh

My Edinburgh: Rob Delaney, comedian

I'm expecting to have a great time at Edinburgh. I've never been to Scotland, let alone Edinburgh, so it's a massive privilege to finally get to perform there. My prime directive for these shows will be to make them FUN, since the festival will be well underway once I get there. So I'll have to blast the cobwebs off anyone who's tired, or jaded, or "festivaled out" and let them know right away that I am going to sweat buckets for them so they can relax and know they're safe in my hands, as it were.

Our Glass House, Edinburgh 2013

Edinburgh 2013: Our Glass House - Common Wealth’s potent exploration of domestic violence

"We are here as witnesses." These words stare down at you in large white letters from the back wall of a neighbouring house, and they’re apt: in Common Wealth’s site-specific production, you walk through a small home on an estate in Wester Hailes, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, witnessing the impact of domestic violence on six different people. The words are also a potent reminder - as is the whole production, explicitly and intentionally - that should we be aware of such violence, we should speak up, speak out.

A hair sculpture by Stuart McCaffer who has set up a hairdressing hut in the back garden.
No media svengali: Nate Silver
Yang Guang the panda at Edinburgh Zoo

Bamboo and a long lie-in as Yang Guang - the UK’s only male panda - turns 10

The UK’s only male panda was treated to a lie-in and a meal of his favourite variety of bamboo on his 10th birthday today.

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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

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
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

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

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital