News A group of Free Syrian Army fighters carry a wounded comrade to cover; over 16 people have been arrested since the beginning of the year amid rising fears of Britons being linked to fighting in Syria

More than 16 people have been arrested since the beginning of the year amid rising fears of Britons being linked to fighting in Syria, it was reported.

As voters stay away, was this the secret policeman's ballot?

Voters barely darkened the doors of polling stations in many parts of England and Wales today as the Government’s handling of the first elections to the post of police and crime commissioner was branded a “comedy of errors”.

Prime Minister 'completely fed up' as terror suspect Abu Qatada walks free from prison

The controversial preacher looked relaxed and happy as he was driven away from Long Lartin high security jail in acute contrast to outrage at both local and national level

Why I won't be voting for a police commissioner

Anyone who has spent time in the US is aware of the dangers of politicised policing

The bloggers have the wrong man: former Tory treasurer Lord McAlpine prepares legal action against 'wholly false and defamatory' child abuse claims

Solicitors for Lord McAlpine have said they are preparing to take legal action against media who they claim defamed him by suggesting he was the senior Tory figure from the Thatcher era involved of sexually abusing young people in a North Wales children's home.

Crime prevention cash cut by £35m since 2010

Spending on crime prevention work – including street lights, closed-circuit television and police visits to schools – has been cut by almost 60 per cent because of Government austerity measures.

Northern Ireland terror threat downgraded

The threat from Northern Ireland-related terrorism has been downgraded from substantial to moderate, meaning an attack is possible but unlikely, the Home Secretary has said.

David Cameron and Barack Obama discussed the case when they met in Washington in May

US disappointed by 'laughable' decision on Gary McKinnon

State Department officials will study ruling and could ask Interpol to issue red notice

Gary McKinnon medical report offers hope against extradition

Gary McKinnon, the computer hacker who breached the systems of the Pentagon and Nasa, has been given hope in his 10-year battle against extradition, it was reported tonight.

Viv Groskop: Finally, a woman's put in charge

They said it would never happen. They said to believe otherwise was crazy talk. They said their brains were weak, their minds blurred by lactational insanity, their bodies broken by the demands of their curious internal lady clocks. But rejoice, because right here right now a woman, yes, a real live woman who can speak and walk and think and everything, is in charge of the country.

Viv Groskop: Finally, a woman's been left in charge

Man the barricades! Grab your tin hats and gas masks! Adopt brace positions!

Senior Home Office figure Dame Helen Ghosh to leave Whitehall

One of the most senior women in Whitehall is leaving to head a charity.

Hacker's mother pleads for quick decision on extradition

The mother of Gary McKinnon pleaded with the Home Secretary to make a quicker decision on her son's future after learning that it will be another three months before a decision is made on his extradition.

250 foreign criminals escape deportation

The Home Office allowed 250 foreign criminals who should have been deported at the end of their prison sentences to stay in Britain without their cases being considered by a court, it was reported today.

Extra 1,200 troops placed on standby

Theresa May has revealed that G4 S holds Government and police contracts worth £600m

Computer hacker Gary McKinnon refuses more medical tests

Computer hacker Gary McKinnon has refused to undergo further medical tests by a Home Office-appointed expert as he fights extradition to the United States, his mother said today.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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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'