News British muslim Maajid Nawaz is the country's most famous former Islamist fanatic

A former activist in the radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir has been chosen to fight a marginal parliamentary seat for the Liberal Democrats.

Please stick to the question: Do politicians suffer selective deafness? Callum Murray gets a straight-ish reply

SIR ROBIN DAY has said that he often feels like beginning a political interview by asking: 'Now, Prime Minister/Secretary of State/Chancellor etc, what is your answer to my first question?'

Police find forged votes cast for MP

FORGED votes were cast for the Labour MP Glenda Jackson at the general election, police said yesterday. No action would be taken, however, because the forgers could not be identified.

THEATRE / The caged birds sing: Rhoda Koenig on Lorca's Spanish family tragedy: The House of Bernarda Alba - The Gate, Pembridge Rd, London W11

TRAPPED rats, says Lorca, don't gnaw their bars through but turn and rend each other. The daughters of Bernarda Alba, impressed into a death-in-life mourning, listen to their housekeeper explain how she managed her late husband, who filled their house with the canaries he loved. 'Once he muttered something at me,' she says. 'So I went and killed all his canaries.' The girls gasp, then twitter with delight.

Adjustable pegs for all holes: The less qualified a minister appears, the more suitable he or she may be for the post, argues Mark Lawson

As a baritone who has given recitals on television, Peter Brooke is the first minister with responsibility for the arts who is qualified to sing in public on state occasions. Yet despite this distinction, he has been widely regarded as an unlikely replacement for David Mellor as Secretary of State for National Heritage. The loud, CD-collecting Mr Mellor was seen as 'arty', while the patrician history buff Mr Brooke is not. This perception leads those in the arts to fear the new minister will be less sympathetic and effective.
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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
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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
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there