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the impression that they were already receiving compensation: they don't pay road tax on these fuel-hungry, noisy, outdated cars.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

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

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

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
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The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried