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Actor took on three armed soldiers who had surrounded star and crew while they were filming later series of Extreme World 3

Jason Maguire poses at Newbury racecourse

Jason Maguire gets a new season's head start on Tony McCoy

However baffling a calendar that ended one jumps season at Sandown on Saturday, and began a new one at Huntingdon, Ludlow and Wetherby yesterday, at least one man was able to achieve a coherent sense of narrative. Jason Maguire had picked up the front page of the trade newspaper to find his agent vowing to end Tony McCoy's incredible 18-year monopoly on the jockeys' championship – and promptly lent substance to that ambition by riding four winners at Wetherby.

Attackers target smartphones, iPods, credit cards and cash

Smartphone pickpockets blot 30-year low in official crime statistics

Recorded crime fell last year to its lowest level since the 1980s despite a surge in pick-pocketing, official statistics revealed today.

Alisher Usmanov, Britain's richest man

Page 3 Profile: Alisher Usmanov, Britain's richest man

It’s alright for some, isn’t it?

New York nun stole $130,000 from church

A 68-year-old nun from New York state has pleaded guilty to stealing almost $130,000 (£85,000) from two rural churches in order to fund her gambling addiction.

Pickpockets cause strike at the Louvre

Gangs of young pickpockets forced the closure of the Louvre museum in Paris today.

Man arrested in connection with burglaries during which women were sexually assaulted while they slept

Police have arrested a man in connection with two burglaries during which women were sexually assaulted as they slept.

Man in hospital after attackers spray acid in his face in Withington

A man is in hospital after attackers sprayed acid in his face.

'Ruby the Heart Stealer' maintains innocence and denies sexual relations with Silvio Berlusconi

Former belly dancer Karima El Mahroug says allegations against her and 76-year-old former premier are untrue

SAC founder Cohen faces new $5.5m claim by ex-wife

A New York appeals court has revived a lawsuit by the former wife of Steven Cohen, the founder of the hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors, who accused the billionaire of hiding $5.5m (£3.6m) from her during proceedings that led to their 1990 divorce.

Tonya Bundick after her arrest yesterday

Woman charged over spate of US arson attacks

Police in Virginia have charged a woman with arson as part of an investigation into a spate of suspicious fires that have ravaged a remote corner of the US state in recent months.

Video: Australian bag thief tackled by glass door

Video: Australian bag thief tackled by glass door

CCTV pictures released by police

Five people killed in South African military helicopter crash

The South African military says five air force members have died in the crash of a helicopter that was patrolling as part of an anti-rhino poaching operation.

Review: The Schism, By Robert Dickinson

The strange tale of a man with demons

Women seeking treatment for online gambling addiction come from across the social spectrum

Women hooked on online betting up from 44 per cent

Spiralling numbers seek help for addiction as internet poker blamed for endangering families

Review: Donnybrook, By Frank Bill

A literary shotgun blast to the face

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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'