News The new series of 'The Voice' got underway last weekend

ITV makes complaint in its submission into the Culture Committee's inquiry into the future of the BBC

Cannabis Campaign: Why the law is an ass

Elizabeth Ivol had to use two walking sticks to climb the stairs to the Kirkwall Sheriff Court in Orkney last week. The 50-year-old MS sufferer was there to face two charges: growing 27 cannabis plants and possessing an illegal drug. Looking frail and solemn, she stood in the dock as Sheriff Colin Scott Mackenzie told her she could face six months in jail, a pounds 5,000 fine, or both.

Coastguards aid crew of second stricken ship

Coastguard rescuers were standing by to airlift the crew of a 1000-tonne bulk carrier last night - only 24 hours after a helicopter winchman was lost at sea. The Minoan Bay was in difficulties in the storm- lashed waters off Scotland's northern coast. A tug was trying to fix a line to the Maltese-registered vessel in the Pentland Firth, off Orkney.

Golden age

welcomes mature bottlings of classic malts

Labour war on Scottish sleaze

Labour plans to introduce a "new breed" of politician for the devolved Scottish parliament in a bid to stamp out sleaze north of the border.

Scots poised for Home Rule

Some 3.9 million voters are poised to usher in a new era

Blair stirs up Home Rule vote

Tony Blair yesterday tried to work his personal magic on a jittery campaign for Scottish home rule, telling voters they had "nothing to be frightened of, except fear itself".

Obituary: Drummond Matthews

In 1955-57 I shared a small lab with Drummond Matthews at the FIDS base on Signy Island in the South Orkneys, writes W. L. N. Tickell.

Scotch on the rocks

If you want to get away from it all, you can disappear in the mist on the craggy Orkney Islands. But when the sun comes out, there are few more intriguing places. Janet Waltham goes exploring

Lost youth, lost voices

As a TV documentary re-examines the `ritual abuse' cases of the late 1980s, Jack O'Sullivan wonders if media coverage let children down

Tailor-made for the Orkneys

James Fergusson applauds the lantern-jawed Homer of the North; For the Islands I sing: an autobiography by George Mackay Brown, John Murray, pounds 16

Police officer to be charged with hindering Orkney murder investigation

An Orkney policeman is due to appear in court this week charged with hindering investigations into the murder of Mr Mahmood.

Election '97: Around the regions: Personality key to Isles' clash

While election battles over sleaze and policy changes rage in the rest of Britain, or at least that part of it represented in the national media, Shetland has been mercifully free of indignant Tory wives and headless chickens. In this, as in so many other things, it is not like the rest of the country.

A calendar of the Arts in 1997

James Aufenast selects the most promising events of the year ahead. Mark them in your diaries, or miss out

Lives well lived

To be remembered fondly is a kind of immortality. In these pages, British men and women who died in 1996 live on in the recollections of their friends and admirers. John le Carre on Beryl Reid, Sting on Vivian Ellis, Bella Freud on Ossie Clark - by their friends shall ye know them

CLASSICAL MUSIC Maxwell Davies premiere Queens Hall

The trees behind the Queens Hall in Edinburgh have turned yellow and brown, reminding you of those composers, such as Brahms and Bartok, who passed into a mellow, autumnal phase in their late creative years. And especially of Bartok, since the new Strathclyde Concerto by Peter Maxwell Davies is a concerto for orchestra, full of reminiscences of the Hungarian's essay in the same genre.
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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones