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.

Tests on spy's body draw blank

Tests on the body of MI6 spy Gareth Williams have revealed no traces of any foreign substances that may have led to his death.

The enigma of a code-breaker's death

The reputation of a brilliant man who served his country will be for ever tainted by the failure to explain his demise

MI6 chief attends spy's funeral

Spy Gareth Williams was laid to rest today in a service attended by the head of MI6.

Police appeal over couple seen near spy Gareth Williams' flat

Police investigating the death of British code-breaker Gareth Williams today appealed for help to trace two people seen near his Government flat.

One Minute With: Tim Waterstone, novelist and entrepreneur

Where are you now and what can you see?

Tigerlily's Orchids, By Ruth Rendell

Ruth Rendell's novels of London amount to a modern cultural history of the city – a fictional urban archaeology of Holland Park in the hippie-chick era, redbrick terraces before and after the attentions of the "property ladder". Now she turns her sharp powers of observation on to a small suburban block of private flats, very precisely located in the social scale, too far away from the centre to be really expensive, just a cut above council housing. Rendell charts the local changes in sharp detail: the closure of the local off-licence, the problems of Mr Ali's corner shop.

Dylan Jones: 'If you had to explain a disappearance, or had to rate an evening out, a simple ‘Groucho’ would suffice'

So there we were, Frank Dunphy and myself, sitting in one of the upstairs bars in the Groucho Club, swapping war stories. Did I remember the night that ****** ran through the club naked (apart from a half drunk martini); did he remember the night ****** *** was found downstairs in the ***** covered in *******? Oh yes, we did. Didn't we just.

Francesca da Rimini, Opera Holland Park, London<br/>Prom 26, Royal Albert Hall, London

'Francesca' is dangerously foxy, but catch her if you can

La forza del destino, Opera Holland Park, London<br/>Fantastic Mr Fox, Opera Holland Park, London<br/>Proms 10 and 14, Royal Albert Hall, London

Suave conducting and searing performances make sense of Verdi's sprawling, brawling opera of ideas

Belvedere, Off Abbotsbury Road, Holland Park, London W8

Sitting in the heart of Holland Park like a miniaturised Alhambra Palace, the Belvedere is a thing of considerable beauty. It dates back to the 17th century, when it was a summer ballroom connected to Holland House. A century ago, it was made over as an art deco palace and more recently it's been redesigned by David Collins in a mixum-gatherum of old and new styles. Walk in and you gasp at its crazy opulence: the mile-high ceiling, the beautiful arches, the long, white silk curtains, the hanging white Botticelli oyster-shells, the silver mirrorballs like huge pearls, the dangling Fortuny lamps with their saucy nipple tassels. It's all fabulously swish and kitschily chaotic. Outside, the restaurant's name glows in blue neon. Inside, the far wall is dominated by one of Damien Hirst's vast, circular butterfly paintings. But for all these strenuous attempts at trendiness, there's something stolidly old-fashioned about the place: it's the mullioned windows, perhaps, or the long service table that dominates the middle of the room.

Inheritance, By Nicholas Shakespeare

What would you do if you unexpectedly inherited £17 million? That's the hook for Nicholas Shakespeare's new novel, which settles this peculiar conundrum on the unprepared shoulders of Andy Larkham. Perhaps Andy deserves a break, what with working for a pittance for a tiny self-help publishing house, and getting unceremoniously dumped by his model girlfriend.

Don Giovanni, Holland Park, London<br/>Idomeneo, Coliseum, London<br/>Zaide, Sadler's Wells, London<br/>Simon Boccanegra, Royal Opera House, London

Stephen Barlow brings out the comedy in Mozart's lustiest opera, but Ian Page's melodrama-by-committee is just dire

Mozart Don Giovanni, Opera Holland Park

There’s narcissism and there’s narcissism and in his terrific new staging of Mozart’s Don Giovanni for Opera Holland Park director Stephen Barlow leaves us in no doubt as to who’s the fairest of them all.

Pelléas et Mélisande, Holland Park, London <br />The Pearl Fishers, Coliseum, London <br />Carmen, Holland Park, London

Thwarted love under canvas is both highly poetic and oddly provocative

Tosca, Coliseum, London<br/>After Life, Barbican, London

Malfitano's 'Tosca' does not make a case for the diva as director
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Fans take a selfie with Ed Miliband in Kempston, near Bedford, on Tuesday
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power