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

Andreas Whittam Smith: Lying has become a way of life for our politicians

In their hearts, I believe, they are contemptuous of ordinary people

Jane Merrick: Note to Straw - Now release Michael Shields

Jack Straw has refused parole to Ronnie Biggs, despite earlier reports suggesting he was about to sign his release. Granting freedom to someone who has courted the media and shown no repentance would have been wrong, Straw said. Fine.

The football fan, his fight for freedom, and a dilemma for Jack Straw

Michael Shields says he is an innocent man. The Government has the power to pardon him – but risks provoking a diplomatic row

Ideas to revive the British political system

The pros, cons and prospects for reform

Cost-cutting blamed as violent mob wrecks jail

A Prison Service investigation will be launched after a “violent, seething mob” of inmates tore apart a jail, amid claims that government cost-cutting was to blame.

Simon Carr: Gordon and Jack hooked on Tory-bashing

Sketch: We are to be given rights to health care and education. But why can't they just give us health care and education?

Straw sets out rights for 21st-century Britons

Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, yesterday set out plans for an updated list of Britons' rights and responsibilities redrawn for the 21st century – more than 300 years after their first introduction.

Election watchdogs to check £2,000 Straw gift

Election watchdogs are to review a £2,000 donation to Jack Straw's local Labour Party after claims it was made by a company which does not trade in Britain. The Electoral Commission said it was looking into a complaint by the Tory MP Ben Wallace about the donation from Westminster International Consultants. The money was accepted by the Blackburn Labour Party on 1 April 2005. But there have been claims that the firm did not do business in Britain.

Rory Bremner: Our liberty is on the line. It's time to act

It is not just laptops and memory sticks that are being lost: it is freedom

Rhodri Marsden: There's a lesson in Jack Straw for us all

For some reason the internet clouds our processes of reasoning

Lost in Lagos? The mystery of Jack Straw and the Nigerian scammers

A message from 'Jack': "I misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel where my money and other valuable things were kept..." "I would like you to assist me with a soft loan urgently to settle my hotel bills and get myself back home"

Jack Straw 'surprised' by raid on Green's office

Justice Secretary Jack Straw today said that he had been "surprised" at the raid on the Parliamentary office of Tory frontbencher Damian Green.

Jack Straw: The criminal justice lobby seems to have forgotten about victims

There is an illustrious tradition of penal reformers – courageous men and women like John Howard, Elizabeth Fry, Herbert Gladstone – who have made a profound contribution to improving how society treats offenders. But crucially, they spoke in a language people understood.

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/10/jack-straw-and.html">Andrew Neilson: Jack Straw and his crimogenic glasshouse</a>

So Jack Straw thinks it is the language that penal reformers use which is the problem. Having sat at the RSA and heard him deliver his chiding speech to a room full of, er, penal reformers, I have a few points to make back.

Computer firm loses prison staff data

Justice Secretary Jack Straw last night ordered an urgent inquiry after it emerged that a private contractor had lost a portable hard drive holding personal details of thousands of prison workers.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue