News Gerardo Gamboa who handed in $300,000 found in the back of his taxi

A Las Vegas taxi driver proved it is the season of goodwill - after he handed in $300,000 left in the back of his cab.

Theatre: Humorous liaisons

As Jeanette Winterson once observed, it's dislocation that makes us laugh: something expected in an unexpected place - your favourite aunt in a poker parlour. Or the reverse: something unexpected in an expected place - a poker in your favourite aunt. If theatre is (wrongly) regarded as a place of "high cultural value", opera, despite its reputation for excess, is believed to be the domain of artistic piety to the point of transfiguration. So where does comic opera fit in?

The Law: Ten reasons why the law is an ass

Possessing computer files which contain unauthorised data about private indviduals

Dance Review: Dark, brutal passion - and not a poker in sight

Edward II Birmingham Hippodrome

One for his nob, two for his heels

William Hartston explores the curious rules and history of one of our oldest and most popular card games

Brits stun Vegas aces with pounds 2.5m poker haul

Las Vegas is used to the wild and weird, but this was really out of the ordinary: Brits and other Europeans whacking the locals at their very own game. They won more than $4m (pounds 2.5m) in the World Poker Championships, which ended last week at Binion's Horseshoe casino.

WHAT'S THE DEAL, PATRICK?

His first play was so good it was put on by the National. Now Patrick Marber is back with his follow-up to `Dealer's Choice'. But still he's not sure he wouldn't rather be idling away his time in front of the television

Playing in five dimensions

William Hartston devises the game to end all games - and to decide which ones suit you

The write stuff

The last time David Edgar hosted a conference on new writing, he called it 'All Passion Spent'.

Games people play Brian Sewell teaches Pandora Melly the joy of chess

Christopher Silvester, 37, writer and journalist.

Words: Buck

Buck

a cough, a sniff and a jump into the sick room

I feel strangely exalted ... febrile ... weird. Who needs drugs, eh, when you can just have flu? It began with a sudden intake of breath. Not much different from any other intake of breath except that this one burned. Another, more cautious breath. No mistake about it: the deep, satisfying crackle of lung infection. I really thought I'd managed to miss the winter plague this time, lagging myself like a boiler at the first advent of cold weather, proud to be seen in my little red hat, which looks exactly like the one the Penguin dons in The Wrong Trousers to make him look like a chicken.

Claus ... and effect

Never work with children or reindeer, the saying almost goes. The demeanour of five of the capital's Santas suggests why.

My biggest mistake : Businessman Santa Claus

Losses on the cards

Leading Article: Why Honest John will not come clean

So, the negotiation of a single currency in Europe is to be likened to a boys' game. After his septem dies horribiles, John Major's much-hyped television interview relied heavily on red cards, football pitches and poker, laddish metaphors from an embattled prime minister. A master of bathos, Mr Major yesterday called the decision on going forward with monetary union the most important peacetime decision; others might claim that honour for accession to the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949, but either way it seems that destiny is being approached in the spirit of a Las Vegas craps game. Our Number 10 card sharp says he is keeping his hand face down, to be revealed with a flourish in that city of sin, Amsterdam, in June next year. Ah, but won't there have been a general election by then? Well, yes: the possibility is that we shall never know what the deuce his position is.

Edinburgh Festival: Four to see

Dealer's Choice (right)
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Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
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