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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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor