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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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
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Mike Tyson branded 'superhero' after a surprise good turn

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A Rutherford Raiders shirt with the PornHub sponsorship
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Charlie Sheen said he would
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Charlie Sheen could be set to revive his role as a hedonistic womaniser

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Jamie Oliver’s version of Jollof rice led thousands of people to post angry comments on his website
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Apple CEO Timothy Cook
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Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
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Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study

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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes