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.

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
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Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick