News

The Commons chamber was visited with a  welcome onset of  grown-upness on Iran

Straw announces launch of crime victims service

Families of murder victims will be the first to benefit from a new £8 million service to help victims of crime.

The Sketch: Time was called – and Blair breathed again

Is the Committee going off the boil again? They must know what Jack Straw's like but they didn't get anywhere near making him sweat.

PM 'dithering' over electoral reform

Gordon Brown has been accused of reducing the prospects of a "Lib-Lab deal" in the event of a hung parliament by "dithering" over plans to reform the first-past-the-post voting system.

Village people: 12/12/2009

Why the veto, Jack?

*Thursday was a good day for burying bad news, as every journalist in the Westminster Village was immersed in MPs' expenses, so a highly contentious decision by the Justice Secretary Jack Straw announced that day, received less attention than it might have.

The Sketch: A public need to find a truth too secret to reveal

Secret inquests went to the Lords and yesterday came back. Poor Jack Straw regards himself as a champion of coroners' juries but has to introduce this new way because there are things too secret for ordinary people to hear.

Knife killers to serve at least 25 years

Knife killers will spend at least a quarter of a century in prison, Jack Straw announced today.

Simon Carr: Trust him, he's the Justice Secretary ... Oh, if only we could

Sketch: We know that ministerial assurances at the despatch box aren't worth the air they're breathed into

Leading article: Closed justice

The Government's dismal push for greater secrecy in public life trundles on. A backbench amendment that would have thrown out the Government's proposals for the replacement of open inquests with secret "inquiries" was narrowly defeated in the Commons yesterday evening.

Nick Griffin: 'Question Time will be a political blood sport'

BNP leader Nick Griffin predicted that tonight's Question Time would be "political blood sport" but said it could propel his party into "the big time".

'Bigoted' BNP will be exposed on TV, says Gordon Brown

The appearance of British National Party leader Nick Griffin on Question Time this evening will present a good opportunity to expose his "unacceptable" views, Gordon Brown said today.

Commons protest as Trafigura gag lifted

Carter-Ruck, the most feared firm of libel lawyers in the country, beat a retreat yesterday as information that its client had hoped to suppress was spread across the internet by bloggers and tweeters.

Rosalind Nashabishi/ Richard Wright, ICA/ Gagosian Gallery, London

Lights, camera, action... almost

Rosalind Nashashibi, ICA, London

Film-maker Nashashibi knows all the tricks of her dishonest trade ... and she uses them to unnerving effect

Campaigners celebrate football fan's release

Supporters of Michael Shields were jubilant at today's news of his pardon and release.

Jack Straw statement on Biggs' release

Here is the full statement by Justice Secretary Jack Straw on the release of Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs:

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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness