News

1. "The BBC is generally as pogonophobic as the late-lamented Albanian dictator, Enver Hoxha."

e) Jeremy Paxman

Aid convoy terror suspects released without charge

Three men arrested on suspicion of terrorism as an aid convoy set off for Gaza were released without charge, police said today.

George Galloway: Because you're Gorgeous!

The maverick MP knows how to get attention. This time, however, he is doing it by leading a mile-long convoy of aid trucks all the way from London to Gaza. Cole Moreton meets... George Galloway

Credit crisis diary: 12/01/2009

An old friend with advice for Oona

Howard Jacobson: Harold Pinter didn't get my joke, and I didn't get him – until it was too late

I listened in rapture. An observer would have picked us for master and acolyte

Riot police called out in London as protest ends in skirmishes

Riot police were dispatched to the Israeli embassy in London last night as a day of protests across Europe degenerated into ugly skirmishes.

A mourning mother welcomes the verdict but awaits 'justice'

Three and a half years ago, Maria Otone de Menezes was a farm labourer living a quiet life in the unremarkable Brazilian village of Gonzaga.

The Week In Books: As if by magic - Potter and the party funds

In early 2007, with Gordon Brown poised to take over the job he had coveted so long, this column wondered if he might ask his even-more-famous Edinburgh chum for a helping hand. I asked if a few supportive words from JK Rowling "with the ears of the world listening, could heighten the 'Brown Bounce' sought by the incoming premier. Will she succumb? Probably not: Rowling has managed her public profile with awesome shrewdness and discretion." No longer. It took 18 months, and a political pit far deeper than any to be found in the cellars of Hogwarts, for Rowling to cast her protective spell. News of her £1m donation to the Labour Party, directly to endorse the Government's programme to reduce child poverty and its equal treatment of lone parents, was meant to sprinkle the stardust of virtuous celebrity of over a downbeat conference week.

Dan Tench: UK courts offer a warm welcome

The recent criticism of the UK's libel law by the United Nations sounds particular alarm. This criticism is perhaps not surprising given that, despite various liberalising innovations in our law over the past 20 years, our courts still represent an unduly attractive forum for libel claimants around the world to bring their actions.

London's Jewish radio station closes after Galloway sues

London's only Jewish community radio station has been forced to cease broadcasting after losing a High Court libel case brought against it by the Respect MP George Galloway.

MPs face ban from lucrative second jobs

A ban on MPs having paid second jobs is to be considered by Gordon Brown as part of an attempt to restore public trust in politicians.

Nice work if you can get it: MPs keep their perks

MPs defied public outcry last night and threw out attempts to curb their generous second home allowances and rejected calls for tough new external audits on their claims.

Double blow to Brown in Scotland after Wendy Alexander resigns

Gordon Brown faces a troubled summer struggling to retain authority in his own heartland after he failed in a last-ditch attempt to prevent his leader in Scotland resigning.

Pandora: George's unhappy clappy bus

I fear the Brotherhood in London's East End is not as considerable as George Galloway hopes. The Teddy Bear of Tower Hamlets has a surprisingly happy clappy election campaign, touring atop an open double decker bus with balloons and reggae-type music. A voter writes: "For weeks now, [expletive] George Galloway and his [expletive] so-called Respect bus have been trawling the streets of Shoreditch interrupting my peaceful afternoons with George blaring away on his bloody megaphone and his relentless music.

Pandora: Paws for thought

A report this week claimed that owning a cat "cuts the risk of stroke by a third". Take that or leave it – perhaps the latter – but a feline companion will make you more likely to sneeze, hate plastic trays and, apparently, vote for the Liberal Democrats.

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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
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A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
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Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
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Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

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War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
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Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

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Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

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