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.

Election '97: Vanessa spells out her new revolution: vote Ashdown

Vanessa Redgrave has not given up on her struggle radically to change society. The only thing that has changed is the means to the end. On 1 May the former Trotskyite revolutionary will be voting for Paddy Ashdown's Liberal Democrats.

Golf: Woods has drive to fulfil ambition

61st US MASTERS: Faldo opens his title defence alongside the young pretender as the inevitable drama starts to unfold today

Letter: Lost in sleaze

The rules of declaration of MP's interests require an MP for a particular constituency to declare in the register if 25 per cent or over of the election fighting fund was contributed by one individual or company ("Now it's the voters turn to judge them", 23 March). Such funds are on average about pounds 8,000 in total.

Letter: Union history belies Blair fairy tale

Letter: Union history belies Blair fairy tale

History of cash and support

The Conservative Party has a long history of receiving cash and assistance from tobacco companies, especially during general elections.

Sleaze report casts shadow over MPs

Ten Tories who must wait until after the election to see if they are in the clear

Jet-set conman must pay pounds 3,000

A businessman who flew all over Europe on charter tickets which he had upgraded to club-class must repay more than pounds 3,000 to British Airways, a judge ruled yesterday. Roger Roberts, 41, was also ordered to pay pounds 4,000 court costs and do 100 hours' community service, after appearing for sentence at Isleworth Crown Court. But he was lucky not to go to prison, said the judge, Recorder Thomas Culver.

MP fires a cold hard question

It was, said Niranjayan Joseph Deva - the Conservative member for Brentford and Isleworth - "part of the historic tradition of this House that an MP should be able to speak about an injustice that has befallen one of his constituents".

Black voters targeted in election drive

The three main party leaders are to be targeted today in a campaign to persuade black voters to go to the polls at the general election.

Financier's daughter smuggled cocaine

The daughter of a wealthy businessman was found guilty yesterday of smuggling more than pounds 400,000 worth of cocaine into London.

Letter: What if Labour dumped the PM?

Sir: Like many millions of Hindus across the world, I recently celebrated Diwali. For me only one thing marred the occasion: I received a specially printed Diwali card from the Labour Party addressed to the "Patel Family".

Dangerous prisoner flees at supermarket

Dangerous prisoner flees at supermarket

Letter : Licence fee is low-cost way to quality TV

Sir: Polly Toynbee (27 August) makes three errors in assuming that I advocate subscription funding replacing the licence fee simply in order to benefit Sky.

Mathew Horsman on the rise and rise of BSkyB

From money-losing albatross around the neck of media mogul Rupert Murdoch to the country's most profitable television company in five scant years. That is the story - at least so far - of BSkyB, the dominant pay- TV broadcaster, which is now racking up profits of pounds 700,000 a day.
News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released the first teaser trailer a week early after it leaked online

Extras
indybest
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?