News Arms deals fixer Ziad Takieddine has been refused entry to Britain

A controversial fixer for arms deals linked to an alleged corruption scandal that engulfed Nicolas Sarkozy has been refused entry to Britain.

Not always great outdoors: Opera Holland Park

Opera al fresco? What could possibly go wrong?

Stag beetles and bats are among the hazards of outdoor performances, says Michael Volpe, head of Opera Holland Park. And don't get him started on the weather...

Mazi, 12-14 Hillgate Street, London W8

So Greece votes against departing from the eurozone and embracing devaluation hell. Hurrah. Holidaymakers can return to Paxos or Lindos, safe in the knowledge that the currency won't go all funny while they're in mid-bouzouki dance. Foodies can explore Greek suppers again without wondering if dolmades and feta exports are going to dry up.

'Golden age' of museums threatened by Chancellor

Backlash builds against Osborne's proposed 'philanthropy tax'

Only goal difference is keeping Mark Hughes' QPR out of the Premier League relegation zone

QPR too good to go down, says Hughes

Manager confident his side can avoid relegation despite extremely tricky run-in to end of season

David Haye (right) hits Dereck Chisora during their press conference brawl in Germany

Haye: Brawl was all in self-defence

David Haye has claimed that he was acting in self-defence when he punched Dereck Chisora at this month's notorious post-fight press conference in Munich, and that he did not use the bottle he was holding as a weapon.

Owen Farrell, England’s only kicker today, gets used to the Twickenham conditions yesterday

Farrell factor offers threat to favourites

Wales arrive at red-rose HQ in great shape but are still wary of hosts' father-and-son combination

Olympic officials from Trinidad and Tobago will use the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, North London, as a social centre during the Games

At the Tricycle Theatre this summer: no plays, but the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic team

A theatre in North London has become the highest-profile playhouse to give up competing with this summer's Olympic Games, deciding that it would be more lucrative to rent the venue to one of the visiting teams instead.

Scotland’s First Minister said the economic case for independence was 'absolutely clear'

PM steps up the rhetoric ahead of Salmond talks

David Cameron will today raise the rhetoric of the debate over Scotland's future by describing the UK as "precious" and promising to fight "head, heart and soul" to keep the union intact.

A fire broke out at the Olympic Park

Olympic ticketing 'too secretive'

The refusal of Olympics officials to provide information about how many tickets have been sold and at what price has jeopardised the public's confidence in the ticketing arrangements for the Games, according to the London Assembly.

Squash: Matthew wins epic title battle

Nick Matthew prevailed in the historic men's British National Championship final between the top two players in the world when he beat James Willstrop in an 81-minute display of dazzling, world-class squash at the National Squash Centre in Manchester yesterday.

A design by Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding

Simple pleasures: The new minimalists

They're talented, disciplined and creating clothes that whisper rather than shout, Alex Fury profiles the new minimalists

Olympic sponsorship tensions reignite

A former London 2012 ethics commissioner who resigned in protest after a decision to accept sponsorship from the chemical multinational Dow, which now owns the company responsible for the Bhopal disaster in India, reignited the row this weekend, accusing a senior Olympic official of misrepresenting her.

This perky side table is the latest collaboration from upcoming designer Mia Hamborg and the Danish crafts team &Tradition. All the parts, which are hand-built from lacquered wood to look like huge colourful beads, can be taken apart and reassembled, instantly giving your living room a bright new look

Atheist victory on council prayers

Christians and politicians reacted with dismay as the High Court today outlawed the centuries-old tradition of formal prayers being said at the start of local council meetings up and down the country.

Taekwondo: Stevenson is Games doubt

The world champion Sarah Stevenson's participation in the Olympics is in doubt after she underwent surgery yesterday to repair cruciate ligament damage sustained at a recent training camp in Mexico.

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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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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

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Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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