Voices

To buy a ticket for a hotly tipped play, within seconds of booking opening, requires perseverance and nerve as websites falter, payments vanish and a confirmation finally limps through. The goal is to see a top cast, whose fluency and fluidity is testament to years of determination – getting to drama school, being noticed at the end-of-year shows, getting an audition, getting a part and nailing it.  

Raheem Sterling, right, gave Liverpool an early lead

West Ham United 2 Cheltenham 1 match report: Sam Allardyce unlocks magic of Ravel Morrison

Being in the hat for the Capital One Cup third round is good, but what West Ham United managed tonight might be even better. Sam Allardyce gave Ravel Morrison, his brilliant prodigal 20-year-old midfielder a whole 90 minutes of football, his first West Ham start.

Is the West prepared to cross the Rubicon over Syria? Probably

Will the night sky of Damascus soon be illuminated by the explosion of American cruise missiles striking government buildings and military bases as used to happen periodically in Baghdad between 1991 and 2003? Pillars of fire would suddenly spring up on each side of the Tigris river and bursts of tracer rounds from anti-aircraft guns would rise slowly and ineffectively into the sky.

Identity-theft insurance was often sold alongside the activation of credit and debit cards

Regulator puts the boot in, but will it make a difference?

The FCA got tough over ID theft insurance, but don’t expect the industry to change its ways

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

Egyptian activists in search of middle way for their country demand to be heard

Campaign aims to encourage opposition to both the political Islam and military hegemony

Life on Marsden: The inexplicably threatening charisma of your partner's ex

They can't possibly have experienced enjoyment before me, could they?

Chimerica by Lucy Kirkwood

Theatre review: Chimerica - Lucy Kirkwood's piece is a strong contender for play of the year

Her back catalogue includes an unflinchingly eloquent promenade play about the life of a sex-trafficked girl and a lethally mordant satire about power and privacy in the era of glossy celebrity journalism. So the imaginative range and penetration of twenty nine year old Lucy Kirkwood's oeuvre were well established. But nothing had quite prepared one for the sheer theatrical boldness and thematic sweep of Chimerica, her remarkably ambitious, three-hour exploration of the fast-changing and complex relationship between the United States and China.

Egypy unrest: Hundreds held as state sets about wiping out Muslim Brotherhood

Islamists order rallies in Cairo as PM vows ‘There can be no reconciliation’

Album review: Tired Pony, The Ghost Of The Mountain (Fiction)

The alt-rock supergroup has come up with a loose narrative about two characters dealing with an unspecified "unforgiveable act". Thanks to Gary Lightbody's way with a compelling image, it manages to grip the imagination for a while but ultimately, not knowing the root cause of the action, leaves one adrift in amorphous emotional distress. But there's much to admire here, not least the broadened stylistic palette, which sees the band's staple country-rock Americana mode augmented with more European influences.

Book review: The Orchard of Lost Souls, By Nadifa Mohamed

From Somaliland's bitter past blooms a moving and mature novel of conflict and survival

Gaming reviews: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist; Charlie Murder; The Drowning

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Coronation Street star Chris Fountain suspended over 'totally unacceptable' secret rap alter-ego The Phantom

25-year-old who plays Tommy Duckworth said he is 'deeply ashamed' of the lyrics which boasted about acts of rape and violence

New Call of Duty trailer reveals female soldiers, MMO-like features

New changes described as “the biggest overhaul of multiplayer since the original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”

Armstrong described his outburst as an 'emotional response'

AOL boss Tim Armstrong apologises for firing employee during conference call with 1,000 staff at Patch after public sacking goes viral

CEO doesn’t say if employee still has a job as recording of dismissal is leaked to blogs and news outlets

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Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?