News Nosratollah Tajik: 'Somebody should have to accept responsibility for the deterioration of my health'

For six years the former Iranian ambassador battled accusations he was an arms dealer. Now, he tells Paul Peachey that the political brinkmanship by the UK and the US over his extradition cost him his health

Leading article: Yes to an amnesty, but not yet

The Commons Home Affairs Committee used some colourful language to describe the backlog of failed migrants who remain in Britain illegally. Its latest report said the figure was equivalent to the population of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The committee chairman, Keith Vaz, accused the UK Border Agency of creating something akin to the Bermuda Triangle, that was easy to get into, but impossible to get out of. A Conservative chairman might have been still more damning.

Last Night's Viewing: The Plot to Bring Down Britain's Planes, Channel 4

You're sure it was Thursday night, and not Sunday? There were moments last night when you wondered if you were watching Homeland on Channel 4. Glib as it may seem to compare that confection with an important documentary about a plan to kill 2,000 people, the makers of The Plot to Bring Down Britain's Planes had evidently plundered the terror-thriller playbook to create a film that was as challenging to the fingernails as anything Sergeant Brody has delivered.

Kim Sengupta: The latest killings prove that nowhere is safe anymore

Locals were guarded but welcoming. You could move around in relative safety

Ex-Met chief says Labour government knew about hacking

MPs last night demanded to know what Scotland Yard told the Labour government about its failed phone-hacking investigation into the News of the World six years ago.

Leading article: Bordering on the farcical

That so little has improved since the immigration system was described as "not fit for purpose" six years ago is a glitch in the functioning of the British state that must be rectified forthwith. But the Government is going about it the wrong way.

Police apologise for missing racist attack

Police in Edinburgh yesterday apologised for failing to investigate a fatal attack by white youths on a Chinese takeaway worker as a racist killing.

Neil Lennon signs new Celtic deal

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has signed a new 12-month rolling contract, the Glasgow club have confirmed.

Leading article: An amnesty would be sensible

A report from the Commons Home Affairs select committee suggests that there has been a "silent amnesty" to reduce the backlog of cases of refugees whose status has been left unresolved for years. Since 2006, when the Labour Home Secretary John Reid declared that the UK Border Agency was "not fit for purpose" that much maligned organisation has been working its way through 450,000 unresolved cases.

Bitter AV campaign causes cabinet 'bust up'

The increasingly bitter AV campaign spilled over into Government business for the first time today after Chris Huhne raised Conservative tactics in a meeting of the Cabinet.

'This is our chance to hurt Cameron'

Peter Mandelson enters the AV debate and tells Labour voters, use your noddle to defeat Tories.

Diary: Ross says he's no Yes man

What with hostilities having already gone up several notches this week in the AV debate, who better to drop behind enemy lines than television's favourite hard man Ross Kemp?

Leading article: The referendum campaign on voting reform has begun. Does it matter?

Yesterday, the curtain was raised on the official campaign in support of a Yes vote in the referendum on the alternative vote on 5 May. Many will be tempted to ask: why should we care? The headlines are crowded with urgent matters of life and death. Japan is experiencing a nuclear emergency. The rebellion in Libya is reaching a crucial stage. There is turmoil across the wider Arab world. And here at home, we are about to experience the most severe spending cuts in a generation.

Sean O'Grady: In this together – but Mr Osborne should put women and children first

You can call it a patriarchal offensive if you wish; I would say it was an unfortunate accident of the way the economy happens to be structured

Cameron and Clegg face off over reform to voting system

David Cameron and Nick Clegg will today go head to head on plans to reform Britain's voting system – but with speeches that have been seen by each other's teams in advance.

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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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform