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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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

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King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

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It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
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60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

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Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

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Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
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Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

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Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

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Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

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Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

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