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

Home office staff paid to compete in tug-of-war contest

Civil servants are being given time off during their working day - to join in a tug-of-war contest, it was revealed today.

John Reid: We must be more alert than ever

The terror threat is constantly evolving. But is our capacity to deal with it?

Simon Carr: Not true – but not quite a lie either

Sketch: The PM put out his favourable statistics on helicopters. The trained mind wondered: "How have they fiddled that?"

The Sketch: Listen carefully, here's a politician that reeks of power

The clouds parted and the Lord came down among us.

Radical preacher sent back to jail

The radical Islamic preacher Abu Izzadeen has been recalled to jail after breaking the terms of his release, prison sources said today.

John Rentoul: Law of unintended consequences

Today's surprise defeat of the Government over a clause in the Parliamentary Standards Bill could be only the first sign of trouble. This law has been drafted in haste, and it shows. The issue over which such Unusual Suspects as John Reid and Margaret Beckett rebelled is not the only problem with the Bill.

Last rites for ID cards read by Johnson

Britons will no longer be required to register for identity cards, says Home Secretary

Brown's authority dealt severe blow as Blears quits

Gordon Brown's authority as Prime Minister was dealt a severe blow today, as Communities Secretary Hazel Blears quit the Cabinet on the eve of crucial European and local elections.

Pandora: Gordon Brown gets the Ann Summers treatment

In what must be one of the most amusing stunts ever to have crossed Pandora's desk, Jacqueline Gold – the beguiling chief executive of the lingerie retailer Ann Summers – has purchased the Google- sponsored link for the term "Gordon Brown".

Archer and Black could escape Lords ban

Plan to expel peers in wake of cash scandal may not be retrospective

Dave Brown: I'm pleased when they hate how I draw them

Complaining to a cartoonist about the way you are portrayed is a very silly thing to do, because whatever you moan about is guaranteed to happen more often as a consequence.

Teenager held over leisure centre rape

A teenager was arrested by police investigating the rape of a 12-year-old girl in changing rooms, a force spokeswoman said today.

Girl, 12, raped in changing room

A 12-year-old girl was raped in a leisure centre changing rooms by a boy believed to be aged 15, police said.

Mole hunts extended across Whitehall

Police mole hunts have begun into other Whitehall leaks in addition to the Damian Green investigation, the Home Office disclosed yesterday as in-fighting intensified between Scotland Yard and the Commons authorities over the raid on the Tory MP's office.

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
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Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
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world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
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Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
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Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice