News Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and ex-wife Mariam Aziz, pictured in 1999

A former international badminton player who became a bodyguard and close friend to the ex-wife of the Sultan of Brunei abused her position to steal diamonds worth £11.6m from her “extremely wealthy” employer, a court heard yesterday.

Get back to your grass roots

On World Environment Day, Sue Wheat suggests some options for the green tourist

How to create your dream home: tell the builder what you want before yo u move in

It is a measure of how far buyers now call the shots in the property market that the word "bespoke" has started to creep into the vocabulary of house building. In an industry long associated with off-the-peg uniformity, the idea of a tailored personal service seems unlikely. But it is a carrot being dangled increasingly in front of prospective customers to persuade them to part with their money.

Schools the cause for scandal

As England struggle in the World Cup, Tom Chesshyre finds that a talent drought is damaging the nation's grassroots

Control of asylum advisers opposed escape control

Inside Parliament

Schizophrenic on bail killed tourist

A schizophrenic was sent to Rampton top security psychiatric hospital indefinitely yesterday after he admitted stabbing to death a tourist and attempting to murder another woman within days of being bailed.

Another death on the road. Who cares?

In its 100-year life, the car has killed half a million people in Britain. But often the families of victims are excluded from court cases and even from the aftermath of an accident. Chris Arnot reports

Revenge of an odd couple

Mary Braid looks into the eccentric world of Labour's giant-killers

The battle for a principle

Advertisement in 'Tribune' led to a legal fight, write John Rentoul and Donald Macintyre

LETTER: Axed: a creative outlet for insiders

From Ms June Watkins

ANOTHER VIEW: Fair and firm on immigration

The proposed Asylum and Immigration Bill now before the Commons will be one of the most contentious to come before the House. The Labour Party, recognising that many of its supporters are in favour of the Bill, attempted without success to have it go to a Special Committee of the Commons, thereby obviating the need to vote against it.

Tory MP tells why he switched to Labour

JOHN RENTOUL

Boundary changes could give Blair election boost

COLIN BROWN

Governor's tale of life behind bars

'There is an enormous amount of shame involved - queueing up to get food, being locked in a cell'

All-women lists face new legal challenge

PATRICIA WYNN DAVIES

LETTER: A film without sex and violence

From Mr David Elstein
Career Services

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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?