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

Nearly two-thirds of voters are open to changing the system

Poll shows momentum growing for the alternative vote campaign, even among Tory supporters

Labour split as 114 MPs say 'no' to voting reform

Britain's biggest union is in talks to form an "unholy alliance" with rightwing Conservatives to oppose next year's referendum on electoral reform, The Independent has learnt.

'114 Labour MPs oppose voting change'

Campaigners against a change in the Westminster voting system claimed the support of 114 Labour MPs today in their bid to secure a "no" vote in next May's referendum.

Gove deals blow to voting reform opposition

The "no" campaign for the voting system referendum next year suffered embarrassment today when it was first forced to remove a Cabinet Minister from its list of supporters and then wrongly claimed he was opposed to the switch to the Alternative Vote.

SFA will do 'everything possible' to avoid referee strike

The Scottish Football Association have vowed to do "everything possible" to avert a referees strike at the weekend.

Leading article: The wrong way to protect children

The Home Secretary's decision to extend the provisions of "Sarah's Law" to the whole country was to be expected, although it's no more welcome for all that.

Lennon vows to bring 'thunder' back to Parkhead as he takes full control

As a footballing city, Glasgow is not exactly short on blood and thunder. The Old Firm can generally be relied upon to raise the pulse rate, for better or for worse. Neil Lennon, the former Celtic midfielder who yesterday was confirmed as the club's manager having taken over on an interim basis in March, clearly understands this better than most.

Warning: the nanny state can seriously improve your health

The "nanny state" mostly gets a pasting from critics who dismiss government efforts to make us fitter or slimmer or healthier as unwarranted intrusion into individual's lives.

Cumbria tries to begin the healing process

Church leaders, the Queen, police and ministers all focus on the aftermath of Derrick Bird's rampage

Clegg admits he begged Brown not to quit while he negotiated with Cameron

Nick Clegg confirmed yesterday that he begged Gordon Brown to stay in Downing Street a little longer while he sewed up a coalition deal with David Cameron.

'Crunch time' as parties jockey for power

Negotiations between the political parties over the shape of the next government were reaching a heightened pitch today, with some sources expecting a conclusion before the end of the day.



'You ruined my life', Blair told in fit of rage

Gordon Brown told Tony Blair "you ruined my life" in a fierce showdown between the two men shortly before the former Prime Minister agreed to stand down, according to the latest allegations to emerge from a book about New Labour.

Matthew Bell: The <i>IoS</i> Diary (21/02/10

Never gives up, even in Lent

John Reid: The enduring implications of the fall of the Berlin Wall

The fall of the Berlin Wall, on November 9, 1989, was one of history’s truly epochal moments. During what became a revolutionary wave sweeping across the former Eastern Bloc countries, the announcement by the then-East German Government that its citizens could visit West Germany set in train a series of events that led, ultimately, to the demise of the Soviet Union itself.

Waiting list patients will get right to go private

Patients forced to wait 18 weeks for treatment on the NHS will be given a new legal right to receive it from the private sector.

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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