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

Independent Scotland `within eight years'

ALEX SALMOND, leader of the Scottish National Party, predicted yesterday that Scotland will be independent within eight years.

Racing: Goodwood washed out

TORRENTIAL RAIN caused the abandonment of yesterday's meeting at Goodwood with two races to run. A 7.30am inspection will determine whether today's card can take place.

Racing: Reid's career on the rise with Maktoum role

THE REHABILITATION of John Reid will be completed this week when the jockey signs a contract to ride for Maktoum Al Maktoum, the oldest member of the most powerful family in racing.

Racing: Fallon fires Stoute into Leger form

Doncaster St Leger Meeting: A trainer seeking to complete his Classic collection this week returns to winning ways

Blair goes on the stump in Hamilton

TONY BLAIR threw his weight behind the Labour by-election campaign in Hamilton South with a visit to the constituency yesterday.

About turn for Labour over gays in military

THE MINISTRY of Defence is set to defy Labour MPs by keeping a ban on homosexuals in the armed forces until after the next general election.

Racing: Reid to take Fallon's place on Leger hope

JOHN REID will replace the suspended Kieren Fallon on Iscan in the St Leger a week on Saturday. Fallon, successful in three of the four Classics run so far this season and due to partner the Michael Stoute- trained colt, was ruled out of the final three days of the Doncaster meeting after receiving a five-day ban for careless riding at Ripon on Tuesday.

SNP furious at Robertson by-election

TONY BLAIR was last night accused of abusing the peerage system after elevating George Robertson, the Secretary of State for Defence, to the House of Lords, thereby forcing an early by-election in Scotland and catch the Scottish National Party off guard.

Robertson's move points to reshuffle

TONY BLAIR'S elevation of George Robertson to the House of Lords was last night tipped as the trigger for a wide-ranging cabinet reshuffle.

Comment: There's a nasty surprise for Mr Blair when he comes home

He is less moved than some of his colleagues would like him to be about the party's `core vote'

Robertson will be next Nato chief

GEORGE ROBERTSON, the Secretary of State for Defence, is to land the top job at Nato after his nomination met with no opposition during informal talks among the alliance's ambassadors in Brussels yesterday.

Monitor: Night of the short knives

CABINET RESHUFFLE

Byers gives game away on reshuffle

TONY BLAIR'S long-awaited cabinet reshuffle degenerated into a Whitehall farce yesterday when one of his ministers announced it would take place next Tuesday.

Parliament: Scotland - Reid anger at `anonymous forces' causing divisions

A RIFT has emerged between Scotland's two most powerful politicians - Donald Dewar, the First Minister in Edinburgh, and John Reid, Secretary of State for Scotland, who is based in London.

So who's up, who's down, who's in, who's out. Who cares?

The annual ritual of the cabinet reshuffle is destabilising, unnecessary and should be scrapped
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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
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future