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.

Minister faces inquiry into second home cash claims

MPs join backlash over expenses as committee considers pay reform

Sex trafficking victims win record payout

Moldovan women kept as sex slaves in London win £600,000 compensation

Constituent sues MP in 'legal first'

A Government minister is set for a court battle with a war veteran constituent who claims she has failed in her duty to represent him properly in a fight for compensation.

Miles Kington: Believe me, jury service is nothing like 'Twelve Angry Men'

I never did get to harangue 11 men and women because they were about to sendan innocent man to the gallows

Help! I'm being held captive by Man Utd

Only in the Premier League could a player who earns £120,000 a week compare himself to a 'slave'

Accountant and teacher kept girl, 14, as a slave

A "heartless" accountant who helped his wife smuggle a 14-year-old girl into Britain and subjected her to years of slavery, was jailed for 18 months yesterday.

Survivor celebrates as bus-stop killer is given maximum jail term

In what his victims' relatives described as a final act of cowardice, Levi Bellfield refused to turn up in court yesterday to hear that he would serve the rest of his life in jail for murdering two young students and trying to kill another.

Keith Smith: Hard-headed trumpeter

Keith Smith was a powerful trumpeter, an astute businessman and a deeply unattractive man. He was better known for his achievements abroad than he was in Britain. They included at one time running a fish and chip shop in New Orleans – an innovation in the city – until it was suggested to him by the mob that he move on. A determined man who could think what was to other English musicians the unthinkable, Smith took his trumpet to the States and worked comfortably as the leader of musicians who in Britain were regarded as legends.

Alan Watkins: Mrs T did not have the first idea about Sir Ian

The political year should not pass without a proper tribute to Lord Gilmour, one of the most trenchant Tory critics of Thatcherism

Chelsea and Barça 'sure' to face fines

Lennart Johansson, the president of Uefa, European football's governing body, has insisted that he is "sure" disciplinary action will follow Chelsea's tempestuous match against Barcelona.

Bill Eyden

Jazz drummer at the heart of British bebop

`Suicidal' Tories in tatters as MP defects to Labour

THE TORY PARTY was reeling last night after its brightest young "progressive" MP defected to Labour. Senior figures warned that the Conservatives were committing electoral suicide.

The glorious memories of a jury foreman

I HEARD on the radio yesterday that Mr Jeff McWhinney, president of the British Deaf Association, is absolutely furious at being barred from jury service on the grounds that he is profoundly deaf. He says that, given a skilled British Sign Language interpreter to tell him what's going on, there should be no problem. To which I say, anyone who demands to do jury service, instead of running a mile from it, needs his head examining.

The Verdict: A zed and two noughts

The BMW Z3 has its critics, but 007 loves it. Will the updated version leave our readers shaken or stirred?
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One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
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Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
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Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

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Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

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Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

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From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
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Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
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'

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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?

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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

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