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.

The diamonds used in the hair piece are valued at more than half a billion dollars

Graff's jewels in the crown: Group unveils $500m hair piece

Graff Diamonds, the jeweller that pulled its planned $1bn (£620m) Hong Kong IPO last year, has launched an advertising stunt in the shape of a $500m jewelled hair piece.

White diamond sold for record $30.6 million at Sotheby's Hong Kong auction

The 118 carat white diamond is the largest and most significant such stone graded by the Gemological Institute of America

White diamond fetches record £19m at auction in Hong Kong

A white diamond the size of a small egg sold for $30.6m (£19m) at an auction on Monday, edging out the previous record for such a stone set just six months ago.

1 October 2013: British horse racing pundit John McCririck arrives at an employment tribunal in London

John McCririck tribunal: Channel 4's programming boss Jay Hunt denies age discrimination accusation

Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s programming boss, has denied a claim by John McCririck that she is a “serial age discrimination offender” and accused the racing pundit of making “false allegations” about her treatment of older presenters.

England and New Zealand get acquainted at Twickenham in 2012

Back-to-back All Blacks risks devaluing the Tests

The Rugby Football Union have confirmed that New Zealand would be the team launching next year's autumn series at Twickenham – the last round of cross-hemisphere matches before the home World Cup in 2015 – and presented it as headline news.

John McCririck claims he lost his job with broadcaster purely based on his age

Racing pundit John McCririck was dropped because he was 'unappealing and irritating', tribunal told

Senior executive says commentator's 'exaggerated tone' had become out of step with Channel 4's coverage

A model presents a creation by British designer Phoebe Philo from her Spring/Summer 2014 women's ready-to-wear collection for fashion house Céline during Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week: Back to the 80s? Turning trash into treasure at Céline

What do women want? It’s a question that has plagued generations of men. The easiest way to find out is, of course, is to ask a woman.

Mont Blanc climber stumbles across £200,000 treasure trove full of Indian jewels on glacier

Metal box filled with rubys, emeralds and sapphires has been discovered after being buried for decades

Oval-cut 59.6 carat jewel is the largest flawless or internally flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded

£37m price tag on most valuable diamond ever to be offered at auction

Pink Star will go under the hammer at Sotheby's in Geneva

Jane Austen's gold and turquoise ring

Kelly Clarkson loses bid to keep £150,000 Jane Austen ring following successful export bar

Anonymous donation of £100,000 helps prevent the ring leaving the UK

The Fashion Audit: Karen's cool / Edible accessories / Painted-on pins

What we love, we're not sure about, we're buying and can't wait for...

Teaching union furious as Islamic free school staff are told they must wear hijab even if they are not Muslim

Staff at Al-Madinah School reportedly spotted removing headscarves as they left premises for lunch

Forensic experts and policemen work on a crime scene near the body of a robber, who was shot dead by a jeweller in Nice

France erupts over manslaughter charges against jeweller who killed robber

Shooting places government in a difficult position

Marine Le Pen and her father acknowledge the audience after delivering a speech during the FN summer congress

National Front leader Le Pen gets a double election boost

Far-right party benefits from fatal shooting of armed robber and former PM’s comments

How to get the look: Creepy rocks

Creepy jewellery? You mean like the locket I have with a picture of my dentist printed off his Facebook page?

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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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
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