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GCHQ has been at the heart of the Edward Snowden leaks and been widely criticised for spying on internet activity

Just what you need to start a coup? How MI5 plotted to use radio-controlled bomber pigeons

Rediscovered post-war diaries have shown that British spy-masters considered developing remote-controlled homing pigeons - perhaps to carry explosives.

Anthony Blunt in 1962, when he was Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures. He was later exposed as a Soviet spy

'It seems pretty clear the pair of them have gone off'

It is 29 May 1951. Two senior figures in the British diplomatic service – Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean – have disappeared and are beating a secret retreat, we now know, to Moscow, wanted by their British spymasters. Soon it will be all over the newspapers, the first big bang from which exploded the greatest scandal in the history of international espionage.

Anthony Blunt in 1962, when he was Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures. He was later exposed as a Soviet spy

How Cambridge spy Anthony Blunt convinced MI5 chief he was 'no Communist'

Newly released diaries of agency's director suggest he was bumbling and out of touch

The threat to Britain from violent Irish republicans, who continue to wage a sporadic campaign, has receded

Government downgrades IRA security threat but warns international terrorism risk to Britain remains high

The threat to Britain from international terrorism remains high but the menace of Irish dissident republicans has reduced, Home Secretary Theresa May announced today.

Daniel Craig stars in Skyfall

From Skyfall to windfall: How the new Bond film will help out old spies

Secretive, mysterious and very difficult to track down.

Xbox-playing teens to be hired as spies

We're used to hearing complaints about how computer games will rot the minds of a generation, but now they have the chance to live out their fantasy and become real-life spies.

Apprentice cyber-spies will be taken on as intelligence agencies seek to harness the IT-savvy talents of the ‘Xbox generation’.

Xbox geeks to become cyber spies

The intelligence agencies are to recruit apprentice cyber spies in an attempt to harness the talents of the "Xbox generation".

Will Self favourite for Man Booker Prize

Journalist and novelist Will Self is favourite to win the Man Booker Prize tonight.

Spy in sex trial is granted anonymity

A spy accused of sexually assaulting a female colleague will stand trial under a pseudonym because it is feared he could be killed if his identity is revealed.

Secret agent Raymond Gilmour who infiltrated IRA to become supergrass accuses MI5 of abandoning him to a life of mental anguish

A one-time police agent who passed on information about the IRA has surfaced in England with claims that MI5 have left him destitute and failed to protect him against republicans.

Absolutely Fabulous, 10pm, BBC1

Oh sweetie, darling! Emmy nomination for the return of Absolutely Fabulous

Crack open the Bolly - the return of Absolutely Fabulous has been nominated for an International Emmy.

Andrea Riseborough, in Shadow Dancer, is a compromised IRA operative

Shadow Dancer, James Marsh, 100 mins (15)
The Three Stooges, Peter and Bobby Farrelly, 92 mins (PG)
The Watch, Akiva Schaffer, 102 mins (15)

It's MI5 here, and this is your choice: leave your son or spy on your brothers ...

Olympics put British spy agencies under pressure

Preparations for the London Olympics have put Britain's intelligence agencies under significant pressure, as the country stages its largest ever peacetime security operation, British lawmakers said today.

The Olympic Stadium will require extra stewards because of fears of overcrowding

'No guaranteed security' for Olympics says head of MI5 Jonathan Evans

It is impossible to guarantee the security of the Olympic Games and an unexpected threat may be the most dangerous, the head of MI5 has said.

Flaming June: The Olympic torch pauses in Liverpool during its long journey around the United Kingdom before the Games begin in London next month

2012 security operation will vet 500,000 people before Games

The Home Office is in the process of vetting half a million people in an attempt to ensure there will be no breaches of security from anyone involved in next month's London Olympics. All employees, volunteers, competitors, officials and media from over 200 countries attending the Games will be screened in the biggest such operation since the Second World War.

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In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
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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
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'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