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.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent