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.  

Nick Clegg speaks with inmates during a visit to the Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institution in Rochester

Government to trial 'fortified school' concept in an attempt to reduce rate of teenage reoffenders

Secure college will house up to 320 young troublemakers

The secret 'Dishfire' system can read hundreds of millions of text messages from around the world

NSA leaks: British spies were given access to US 'Dishfire' system that reads hundreds of millions of texts from around the world

The NSA has to delete innocent texts involving Americans from the system but there is no requirement to do so for foreign phone numbers

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Profumo evidence - now you see it, now you don’t

It’s a British first! While it may have been commonplace in the days of Glavlit, the dreaded Soviet censorship organ of the Stalin era, the UK Government may be the only one in modern times to make secret what had previously been public. Labour’s Lord Dubs discovered this when he asked for the release of the transcripts of the 1963 trial of Stephen Ward – the osteopath who introduced Christine Keeler and her lover, the married War Minister John Profumo, and was convicted on what a historian of the period has called the “tainted evidence” of police and others.

Anglesey residents fear shale gas speculators will be able to evict them from their homes

Calls to abolish outdated rights for lords of the manor that 'serve no purpose in the 21st century'

The title is a hangover from the feudal era and does not automatically bring with it physical property, but entitlements and duties that would have once been held by a medieval seigneur are often included

Murderer Dennis McGuire took more than 15 minutes to die, according to witnesses in the Ohio prison

Convicted murderer and rapist ‘gasped and took 15 minutes to die’ in Ohio drug trial execution

The new method was adopted after the maker of the state’s previous drug put it off limits for capital punishment

Chairperson Norwegian Kirsten Sandberg, Vatican's UN Ambassador Monsignor Silvano Tomasi and Former Vatican Chief Prosecutor of Clerical Sexual Abuse Charles Scicluna. The Vatican was pushed for the first time to provide answers to the UN over its commitment to stamp out child sex abuse by priests

Catholic sex abuse: UN blasts Vatican for failing to protect children from paedophile priests

The United Nations today lambasted the Vatican for failing to protect children from paedophile priests as investigators in Geneva probe the global scandal that rocked the Catholic Church to its foundations.

Google to be tried in the UK: High Court upholds British claimants' 'secret tracking' case

The search giant had originally claimed that it should be tried in the US

Ke$ha was accused of smuggling a snuff box carved from illegal ivory into the USA this week.

Ke$ha accused of smuggling ivory

Stockpiles must be destroyed to prevent sales of ivory

Ad and Wal by Peter Hain, book review

What makes some apparently ordinary people defy tyranny, when outwardly there is nothing to distinguish them from the majority who opt to keep quiet and get along?

Vodafone to call for UK government to disclose requests for users' data

World third-largest mobile phone company wishes to follow example of US companies, publishing regular 'transparency reports' on data requests

Students gather outside the University of London Union building ahead of the fees protest march

Student protest is important. So why should it just be the preserve of the hard left?

You don't have to be Marxist to want a better world, but sometimes student politics makes it feel that way

A Thai anti-government protester during the fourth day of the 'Bangkok Shutdown' rally

Thai protesters march on more government offices

Eight have been killed and 450 injured since protests began in November

Joanna Dennehy pleaded guilty to the murders in November

Joanna Dennehy: Female serial killer’s victims were ‘fatally attracted to her’

Joanna Dennehy was allegedly assisted by two accomplices who tried to help her cover up the 'terrible truth' of the three murders

A barge carries asylum-seekers bound for detention centres on Christmas Island after their boat was intercepted

Australian government uses military to repel ‘boat people’ but is silent on claims of savage treatment

Tony Abbott's administration was elected on a promise to 'stop the boats,' but hunger strikes and claims detainees have sewn their lips together have citizens asking 'at what cost?'

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Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
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A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
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fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
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Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
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Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
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Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
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Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
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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
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention