Voices

To buy a ticket for a hotly tipped play, within seconds of booking opening, requires perseverance and nerve as websites falter, payments vanish and a confirmation finally limps through. The goal is to see a top cast, whose fluency and fluidity is testament to years of determination – getting to drama school, being noticed at the end-of-year shows, getting an audition, getting a part and nailing it.  

Christians march in the streets in 2012, calling for reforms of the country's blasphemy laws. Muhammad Asghar, a British pensioner who has been sentenced to death for blasphemy, has been denied legal independent legal advice

Mohammed Asghar blasphemy case: This flagrant breach of rights must be undone

Last Thursday, Mohammed Asghar, a 69-year-old shopkeeper from Edinburgh who has been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, was sentenced to death. The sentence came after two marathon hearings and a three-year trial process.

Bollywood glamour and roaring economic progress have blinded us to India’s misogynist reality

India is the fourth most dangerous place in the world for females, after only Afghanistan, Congo and Pakistan

A tale from Ireland that will stir the blood – even make it boil

The  story of a primary-school teacher, Margaret Skinnider, who was shot and wounded during the Easter 1916 uprising, has rightly caught the eye of Dublin journalists

People help a family out of a burning car after it drove over a barricade of fire started by protesters, during demonstrations against the staging of the upcoming 2014 World Cup

Over 100 arrested in Brazil as anti-World Cup protesters clash with police

Sao Paulo demonstration billed as the year’s first action against the summer tournament ended in tear gas and rubber bullets after cars were torched and bank windows smashed

Behind bars: Reformed prisoners could be held in jail longer than is necessary

Exclusive: Parole system failing prisoners and close to be overwhelmed, lawyers warn

Inmates due to be freed should have face-to-face hearings – but there are not enough officers to go round

Doctors worry e-cigarettes will give youngsters a taste for nicotine

Sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s to be illegal

The sale of electronic cigarettes to under-18s is to be banned after the chief medical officer warned they could be “extremely damaging to young people’s health”.

Lush often uses its front windows to campaign against social injustice

Cosmetics chain Lush stands up for gay rights in run up to Sochi Winter Olympics

As the Sochi games approach, Lush stores around the world will be running a Valentine’s campaign in defence of equal love

Amber McGuire, left, recounts the execution of her father, Dennis McGuire, as her sister-in-law Missie McGuire cries at a news conference Friday in Dayton, Ohio

Family of executed Ohio inmate Dennis McGuire file lawsuit to ban use of new lethal injection

McGuire was the first prisoner to be executed with a new cocktail of lethal drugs and took 26 minutes to die

Nicolas Anelka in action for West Brom during the 1-1 draw with Everton

Nicolas Anelka: Disciplinary hearing over alleged anti-Semitic 'quenelle' gesture scheduled for the end of February

Anelka has been charged by the FA with an aggravated offence although the personal hearing is not due to take place until the end of next month

Erick Munoz stands with an undated copy of a photograph of himself, left, with wife Marlisa and their son Mateo

Marlisa Munoz: Texas judge orders hospital to remove life support of pregnant brain-dead woman

33-year-old was 14 weeks pregnant when she fell unconscious in November

Eshoppers and refund seekers set for a boost

Shoppers will get stronger refund rights and e-shoppers new rights under a Consumer Rights Bill published this week.

Needham: she went on to fight charges for home helps, and day-centre closures

Ivy Needham: Campaigner who was awarded an MBE for her efforts to claw back millions of pounds for the Maxwell pensioners

Ivy Needham was in her late sixties and coming to terms with the loss of both her sight and hearing when she was thrust into the forefront of the campaign to get back the pension funds stolen by Robert Maxwell from his staff and from pensioners who had worked for his companies.

An email exchange in April 2011 between Rebekah Brooks and her husband, Charles Brooks, referred to her losing an iPad

Mystery of Rebekah Brooks’s 10 missing devices: gadgets that connected to router have never been found, hacking trial told

One phone on the list may have been a duplicate, another may have belonged to someone else and one iPad may have been lost

Max Mosley's lawyers have previously said his case is 'not about censoring the internet' fight Rupert Murdoch

German court orders Google to block Max Mosley sex party images

Judge says the widely-circulated pictures of a sadomasochistic orgy ‘seriously violate’ former Formula One chief’s privacy

Protesters clad in improvised protective gear prepare for a clash with police in central Kiev

Ukraine protests: what exactly is going on in Kiev?

Why people are angry and what happens next

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
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Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering