Andy McSmith's Diary: The case of the MP, the police chief and the missing personal apology

As if the police had not already inflicted enough trouble on themselves with the plebgate saga, a Chief Constable had to ‘fess up that his force did not understand the law that protects an MP’s right to speak freely.

The News Matrix: Tuesday 28 January 2014

Teachers at free school to strike

A group of Free Syrian Army fighters carry a wounded comrade to cover; over 16 people have been arrested since the beginning of the year amid rising fears of Britons being linked to fighting in Syria

16 arrested amid fears Britons linked to Syria violence

More than 16 people have been arrested since the beginning of the year amid rising fears of Britons being linked to fighting in Syria, it was reported.

The seven private investigators pleaded guilty to conspiring to unlawfully obtain personal data at Isleworth Crown Court

BBC duped into handing over confidential data on 700 licence-fee payers to ‘blaggers’

Confidential information from top firms illegally accessed

People take part in a simulation entitled 'A Day in the Life of a Refugee: Exploring Solutions for Syria'

The Syrian refugee simulator for billionaires: We try the experience designed to pressure the super-rich into helping

The most agonising choice many attendees of the World Economic Forum in Davos face is whether to go for a Martini or a smooth Riesling at the countless lavish parties that take place after hours.

Lacina Traore looks set to complete a move to Everton, subject to a work permit

Transfer news: Everton at last clinch deal for Monaco forward Lacina Traore

The Ivory Coast international joins on loan until the end of the season

Ofsted chief Michael Wilshaw is speaking sense by saying we should call out bad parenting

Perhaps parent-teacher evenings should, where appropriate, be as much about the parents as about the children

Juan Agudelo

Transfer news: Stoke sign US international Juan Agudelo, but send him out on loan immediately

The Potters failed to get a work permit for the striker

Lacina Traore looks set to complete a move to Everton, subject to a work permit

Transfer news: Roberto Martinez confirms Everton are nearing Lacina Traore deal after move agreed with Monaco

The Toffees manager was speaking after the 1-1 draw with West Brom after beating West Ham to the Ivory Coast international

The News Matrix: Tuesday 21 January 2014

UN withdraws Iran’s invitation to talks

Dad gets letter addressed to 'Daughter Killed In Car Crash'

Recipient actually lived in Illinois, not Daughter Killed In Car Crash

A Thai anti-government protester points a baton towards a building from where protesters suspected a bomb was thrown on an anti-government protest march in Bangkok on 17 January.

Thailand anti-government protests: 31 people injured in Bangkok blast

The explosion in the Thai capital city left the protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban unharmed 

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Profumo evidence - now you see it, now you don’t

It’s a British first! While it may have been commonplace in the days of Glavlit, the dreaded Soviet censorship organ of the Stalin era, the UK Government may be the only one in modern times to make secret what had previously been public. Labour’s Lord Dubs discovered this when he asked for the release of the transcripts of the 1963 trial of Stephen Ward – the osteopath who introduced Christine Keeler and her lover, the married War Minister John Profumo, and was convicted on what a historian of the period has called the “tainted evidence” of police and others.

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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada