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.

Politics: MP aims to lower gay sex age limit

AN EQUAL age of consent for gays, lesbians and heterosexuals was backed by a Labour MP and her gay son yesterday - ahead of a Commons vote that is expected to push the reform through next month.

US Masters Golf:The middle-aged strike back with mellow O'Meara

MARK O'MEARA finally capped a model professional career by winning his first major championship at the age of 41. His first US Masters title came at the 15th attempt, longer than anyone else who has achieved the feat has had to wait. He was helped into his green jacket by Tiger Woods, the young genius he befriended when last year's champion set out on his professional career.

Letter: Too many mayors

IT SEEMS that London is destined to have two Mayors - or rather a Lord Mayor and an ordinary one. Of course, the former's patch is only the Square Mile and his duties largely ceremonial, but try explaining that to visitors from abroad. Any title - Governor, Director, Chief Executive, Lord High Panjandrum - anything but Mayor and this farcical confusion could have been avoided.

Letter: Myth of media choice

TONY HALL, Chief Executive of BBC News (letter, 4 March) bangs on about the myth of "choice". Most people don't need choice in the media.

My Rough Guide: Enjoying the sunset at a ruin with a view

Best discoveries

Letter: Classic gas-guzzlers

Sir: David Roots (letter, 7 January) calls for classic car owners to be compensated for the withdrawal of leaded fuel. I was under the impression that they were already receiving compensation: they don't pay road tax on these fuel-hungry, noisy, outdated cars.

Airport sex pornographers escape jail term

Children these days may have seen many things, but holiday-makers should not have to run the risk of stumbling across a couple having sex in the airport car park. This was the judge's verdict, reports Clare Garner.

Blue movie-makers descend to Level 3

They were the kind of scenes one can safely say were denied viewers of Airport, television's fly-on-the-wall documentary series. A bunch of builders and staff at Heathrow airport could scarcely believe their eyes when they came across a blonde porn star laid semi-naked across a car bonnet in one of the airport car parks.

Letter: Gas vapours

Sir: One can but welcome Nelson Cunnington's concern for scientific literacy in environmental matters (Letters, 11 July). In the same spirit of accuracy, one should record that water vapour, in common with virtually all tri- atomic gases, is, in fact, a powerful greenhouse gas.

FACTS AND FIGURES

Houseboat prices vary immensely nationwide, says the marine agent Virginia Currer (01753 832312) who has Fighting Spirit (see article) on her books at pounds 36,000. "It's very difficult to quote a boat price. For example, I've got an ex-canal lighter in Islington for pounds 30,000 for a 10- year lease; a wooden ex-Admiralty picket boat on the tidal Thames at Isleworth for pounds 22,000; and a 93ft Dutch tjalk barge at Hoo in Kent for pounds 63,000."

Pigments of the imagination

Turner's secrets lay in his art, not his heart, argues Jan Marsh; Standing in the Sun: a life of J M W Turner by Anthony Bailey, Sinclair- Stevenson, pounds 25 Turner: a life by James Hamilton, Hodder & Stoughton, poun ds 25

Golf: Tiger back in his natural habitat

US Open: Year's second major is likely to bring the best out of the world's best as he continues to prey on history; Andy Farrell detects a threatening pattern as the Masters champion prepares for a rerun

How drug gangs dupe 'mule' girls

Ian Burrell hears a father's plan to free the jailed daughter he says was an unwitting cocaine courier

More talent, more hostility

To the tabloids they're `Blair's babes' - but women MPs have real skills to offer, says Fran Abrams

Letter: Tactical defeat

Tactical defeat
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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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
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

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

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there