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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Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity

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Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
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The author PD James, who died on 27 November 2014
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Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94

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Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
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View of champagne glasses at a beach bar set up along the Croisette during the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes on May 17, 2013
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Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
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Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
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Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
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Sites using the popular Gigya comment platform were attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)

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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?