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.

Paul Merton

My Edinburgh: Paul Merton - At least I haven't been beaten up this year

I have been coming to the Edinburgh Fringe for 29 years and I've had some dramatic times. In 1986, I was attacked in the street as I helped Neil Mullarkey from the Comedy Store Players to put up posters. We were in the wrong place at the wrong time - midnight - and we were English. I got kicked in the head. Then in 1987 I broke my leg playing football, which led to a blood clot on my lung. And then I contracted Hepatitis A, which the doctor told me I probably caught from the hospital food. It was a pretty grim place then.

My Village and Other Aliens, by Terence Blacker

My Edinburgh: Terence Blacker on white lies and shark-infested waters at the Fringe

It’s great. No, really, the show couldn’t be going better. In fact, the main problem is keeping up with the demand for tickets.

Duke of Edinburgh carries out first official engagement following operation

The Duke of Edinburgh has carried out his first official engagement in nearly two months, saying it was a “great pleasure to be back in circulation”.

Leaving Planet Earth

Edinburgh 2013: Leaving Planet Earth

What kind of people would inhabit a brave new world, leave behind the war and pollution of old earth and start again on a fresh planet? If Grid Iron’s site-specific, immersive piece for the International Festival is anything to go by, not terribly endearing ones.

Salman Rushdie: ‘If you don’t want to read a book, don’t read it’

Salman Rushdie: We're all too offended now

'Satanic Verses' author attacks rise of religious and political tribalism that makes people define themselves by what they hate

The Feral Beast: Trophy Tories, Bongo man clangers, missing moggies and model English

The awkward squad within the Tory party has found a figurehead in Peter Cruddas. He's the former party treasurer who last week won a libel case over allegations he charged people to meet the Prime Minister. David Cameron was forced to make a grovelling apology after making him "feel like an outcast". Now, some mischievous Tories are organising a party in Cruddas's honour, where he will be presented with a trophy. Sources are remaining tight-lipped about who will attend, but the date of 17 September has been earmarked, before party conference. "It looks like deliberate shit-stirring by the anti-Cameronites," says my man on his sunlounger. "It will be revealing to see who comes." One of Cruddas's most prominent supporters is the former Tory donor Lord Ashcroft, who cheerfully tweeted yesterday that party membership had slipped to under 100,000. Cruddas was lunching with Ashcroft when Cameron made his apology. They were seen at the super-spiffy Hôtel du Cap on the Côte d'Azur. Ashcroft was once a fan of Dave's but has clearly changed his mind lately. His office did not return my calls.

My Edinburgh: Max Olesker on wrestling comedians at The Fringe (and not plugging his new show at all)

If I were a truly canny businessman I might be tempted to use these precious column inches to plug the show I am performing in all month (Max and Ivan: The Reunion, 8.20pm, Queen Dome – a heart-warming, hilarious and poignant tale of the class of 2003’s 10 year school reunion, directed by sketch maestro Tom Parry of Pappy’s) but instead, I am here to talk about The Wrestling. Or rather, The Wrestling II.

From Eros to filling the fourth plinth: A crash course in public art

The Art Everywhere campaign, which launched this week, aims to turn the nation's billboards into an art gallery. Britain sure has form for big public art...

Graphic novels award is a sign of maturity

A major symptom of the graphic novel's emergence from puberty over the past 30 years will happen this month at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Not only does this year's programme see the inauguration of an entire themed sub-festival called Stripped, but also the first presentation of the 9th Art Award, an international prize for graphic fiction whose organisers don't seem keen to discourage talk of their ambition to be “the Booker Prize of graphic novels”.

Tim Key: 'If I ever die, be sure to scatter my ashes around the Edinburgh Fringe’

I’m sat on my fat arse on the train to Edinburgh and getting emotional. I’m going to the Fringe, my spiritual second or third home. Dewy-eyed, I eat a ham-and-egg bloomer, neck mango-and-apple drink and watch England’s over-hyped scenery whistle by. I devour a vegetable crisp. The train slows down. Peterborough.

Justin Edinburgh's side won 3-1 at Brighton in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday

Simon Hart: Justin Edinburgh offers second chances at born-again Newport

Life Beyond the Premier League

Overseas students used as 'cash cows' by UK universities

Foreign students are being charged up to four times more for degree courses than those from the UK, according to new research.

Jigsaw

Jigsaw: A comedy show that has got the ex-factor

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

Knightmare Live

Edinburgh 2013: Knightmare Live - The 'dungeoneer' is back

“This is not entry level stuff,” warns Lord Fear (joyfully evil Tom Bell) as he welcomes us to this very special Kickstarter-funded production of cult Eighties TV show Knightmare Live. He needn't worry, each audience member is clearly a fan.

News
news
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
tvChristmas special reviewed
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
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
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