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

Egypt uprising 'should jolt Middle East foes'

The ousting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak should "jolt" Israelis and Palestinians to get round the negotiating table in a renewed bid to find a Middle East peace settlement, Foreign Secretary William Hague has said.

Mark Steel: It's people who bring about change

All those scenes from Cairo of mass demonstrations look like the perfect expression of the big society. So we can only assume David Cameron wants us to try something similar here. It would certainly encourage more people to take an interest in politics. Instead of complaining that kids show no interest in the political process when they are asked to study details of local government boundary changes, teachers could say: "Today we're going to find out how new governments are formed" and get the class to stand on a tank in Trafalgar Square.

Teenager jailed for killing gay man

A former public schoolgirl who kicked and stamped on a gay civil servant during a deadly homophobic attack has been jailed for seven years for his manslaughter.

Seven years for teenager who kicked gay man to death

A former public schoolgirl who kicked and stamped on a gay civil servant during a deadly homophobic attack was jailed for seven years today for his manslaughter.

Up next in Trafalgar Square

A giant blue cockerel, by the German artist Katharina Fritsch, and a bronze sculpture of a boy on a rocking horse, by Elmgreen and Dragset, are to appear on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.

Away in a manger: How one Surrey man turned a Nativity in his barn into an annual pilgrimage

From humble beginnings, a Nativity play in stockbroker-belt Surrey has grown over two decades into an extravaganza seen by thousands. And all thanks to one man and his draughty outbuilding

Two convicted of homophobic killing

Two people who hurled homophobic abuse at a gay civil servant before kicking and stamping on him have been convicted over their part in his death.

Teenage girl locked up for killing gay man

A former public schoolgirl who hurled homophobic abuse at a gay civil servant before kicking and stamping on him during a deadly attack is tonight behind bars.

Linda Carty: The British woman whose execution is just a phone call away

Guy Adams meets Linda Carty, the grandmother on Death Row in Texas

Anger at arrest of 150 student demonstrators

More than 150 demonstrators were arrested at Tuesday's student protests after they refused to abandon their rally in Trafalgar Square. Officers again used their "kettling" tactic to detain protesters as the initially peaceful demonstration ended in a stand-off between students and police.

Cat-and-mouse game as protesters take to the streets again

A policeman was injured after scuffles broke out at the end of a largely peaceful demonstration in London against rising tuition fees. In Trafalgar Square the windows of a restaurant were broken and graffiti was daubed at the base of Nelson's Column where fires had been lit. Five people were arrested for offences including public order, assault and obstructing police.

Fees protest gridlocks central London

Protesters marching against plans to increase student tuition fees caused traffic chaos today as they fled police over fears they would be penned in.

Prepare for more disorder says Met chief

Police must prepare for more lawless demonstrations because the "game has changed", Britain's most senior officer said today.

Police readied for second fees demonstration

Student leaders emboldened by protests in London 13 days ago will hold a day of direct action tomorrow designed to bring dozens of campuses and schools to a halt alongside renewed protests in the capital.

Diary: Odds-on as the nation's most toxic family unit

A frantic week on the celebrity kith and kin front prompts this reality TV proposal to Endemol. Nuclear Families (© M Norman) is the primetime contest to find Britain's most toxically radioactive clan ... and given the four contenders in Series One, the mirth should have a very long half-life indeed.

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The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
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The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
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Could you tell the difference between this and an organic alternative?
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Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'

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Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
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Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
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JK Rowling will not be releasing a 'romance' novel anytime soon
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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
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Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?