Arts and Entertainment The National Portrait Gallery has commissioned a portrait of Tony Blair by Alastair Adams

A painting of the former PM for the National Portrait Gallery tells us much about him

Government 'destroying communities' say union leaders

The Government was attacked today for "destroying" communities with its spending cuts and other policies as thousands of trade unionists, pensioners, students and activists took part in the annual May Day celebrations.

Trafalgar Square hosts Easter Passion play

Biblical scenes unfolded in Trafalgar Square today as thousands of people gathered to watch a recreation of Jesus Christ's crucifixion and resurrection.

Sport on TV: Bishop channels his energies to answer millions of prayers

There's a new breed of comedian nowadays. From Eddie Izzard running 43 marathons in 51 days to David Walliams swimming the Channel and the Thames, it's not so much stand-up as "I can barely stand up". Bernard Manning and Roy "Chubby" Brown would have run a mile if Sport Relief came calling – except they wouldn't be able to get that far.

Another 'Olympics egg' stolen

A third model egg has been stolen from a pre-Olympic exhibition.

Afghanistan worked the world maps of Turin-born Alighiero Boetti

Alighiero Boetti, Tate Modern, London

The star of Arte Povera is full of bright ideas in a show that winds its way through the human condition and its orderly creations, from postage stamps to vast embroideries

Hundreds in London join day of action to support Arab Spring protesters

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in London yesterday to show solidarity with protesters in the Middle East and North Africa.

Year of the Dragon roars into the UK

Two weeks of celebrations are set to start tomorrow as communities mark the arrival of Chinese New Year.

Stephen Lawrence: How the case breakthrough came

DCI Clive Driscoll was in church to mark the 15th anniversary of the death of Stephen Lawrence when the breakthrough finally came.

Jacques Rogge , president of the International Olympic Committee, drew attention to the rise of fixing as a threat to the integrity of sport

London Eye: Athletes need to break their silence on curse of doping

There were two significant sporting moments played out in courtrooms in this country this year. One came amid a scrum of international media at Southwark Crown Court on the banks of the Thames in London and resulted in the imprisonment of three Pakistan Test cricketers, the captain Salman Butt, and two of the world's best fast bowlers, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir. It shook cricket, a continent and the sporting world beyond.

It's good to walk: the redesigned Exhibition Road in west London is a 'shared space' for pedestrians and cars

This town is big enough for the both of us

I am standing at the junction of two of the busiest streets in central London – High Holborn and Shaftesbury Avenue. In one direction is Centre Point and the start of Oxford Street; in another Leicester Square; to the south-east is Covent Garden; behind me is Bloomsbury and the giant hulk of the British Museum. It's quite a vista. But my view only lasts for eight seconds before the little green man turns red and a herd of black cabs rev their engines.

It's good to walk: the redesigned Exhibition Road in west London is a 'shared space' for pedestrians and cars

Walk on the wild side: Pedestrians could soon be given equal footing with cars

Traditional planning put cars at the centre of our streets but a radical rethink of how modern cities work could change all that.

Dave Gilmour's son loses sentence appeal

Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour's son lost an appeal today against his 16-month sentence for going on a drink and drug-fuelled rampage at a student fees protest.

Everyone can have a night at Covent Garden

The Royal Opera House has begun embracing social networking to widen its audience, says chief executive Tony Hall

Picture of the Day: Up, up and away for 2012...

Londoners woke up to the sound of music emanating from the skies this morning as seven orchestral hot air balloons soared above the capital, heralding one year to go to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

James Corrigan: Olympic fever? Like many real sports fans I'm immune to the hype and bluster

The Way I See It: To us the Olympics is about athletics, and only about athletics, maybe with a bit of swimming and boxing thrown in

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Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests