News Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and ex-wife Mariam Aziz, pictured in 1999

A former international badminton player who became a bodyguard and close friend to the ex-wife of the Sultan of Brunei abused her position to steal diamonds worth £11.6m from her “extremely wealthy” employer, a court heard yesterday.

Phone-hacking trial: David Blunkett believed someone 'very, very close' was intent on destroying his private life, court hears

The extent of the anger and frustration felt by the former home secretary is revealed in a series of voicemail recordings

What the Sunday papers said

Art review: Yayoi Kusama, White Infinity Nets

What is obsession? Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, now 84, has been making the Infinity Net series for more than half a century – delicate white nets painted onto large canvases. They appear to be both a symptom of the mental illness that has dogged her since childhood, and a sign of her continuing power to overcome it through art.

Jim Armitage: Bank is right to seek a clearer picture of risk

Outlook The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street likes drama to be reserved firmly for the stage. So yesterday's announcement from her Financial Policy Committee on "potential amplification channels" of financial risks was characteristically short on hyperbole.

Christopher Kane joins raft of new designers in Mount Street for first store

London Fashion Week star Christopher Kane has secured a spot for his first ever store.

London launch is in the bag for Moynat

France's richest man and luxury tycoon Bernard Arnault is bringing his new luggage brand to the UK.

Rolls dealer HR Owen yields to £42m takeover

One of London’s oldest car dealerships yesterday gave in to a pursuit from Malaysian billionaire and Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan.

Music review: Gabriella Cilmi - She may be sweet, but she also shows talent and guts

“My boots keep getting stuck on the gum on the floor,” Gabriella Cilmi observes. The dirty surface belongs to Mayfair’s version of a bohemian dive, all shadowy corners and murals of topless, brazen rock chicks. Though Cilmi had one of the hits of the summer of 2008 with “Sweet About Me”, and her naturally throaty voice drew comparisons to Amy Winehouse, success since has been patchy at best. This low-key gig in advance of her third album, The Sting, has the feeling of starting again.

Rick Owens: From rags to riches

Rick Owens: From rags to riches

Unconventional designer Rick Owens is expanding his empire with a pop-up in east London, but he's doing it in a typically humble way, writes Rebecca Gonsalves

iStyle: From rags to riches

Rick Owens is expanding his empire with a new pop-up in London, writes Rebecca Gonsalves

London office boom is back as Temasek forks out highest rent in six years

The Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek planted its flag in London in dramatic style yesterday, paying the highest rents in six years for a new European headquarters in St James's.

Sharon Osbourne arrives at the X Factor press launch in Mayfair

Sharon Osbourne promises X Factor harmony: 'The judges actually like each other'

Sharon Osbourne said there will be no personality clashes on the X Factor judging panel this year because the judges "actually like each other".

Sharon Osbourne at the X Factor press launch today in Mayfair

Sharon Osbourne's X Factor return: 'I left the show under a cloud, this makes it alright'

The X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne has revealed it is "wonderful" to return to the show, as the 10th series launched in London.

Atkinsons Old Bond Street store

Look for the bear necessities

Founded in 1799, fragrance brand Atkinsons of London is relaunching after hibernation, says Emma Akbareian

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'