A liver transplant patient turned up to her operation appointment at a German hospital with a bottle of vodka in her bag, a court has heard.

Leading article: Avoidable tragedy

Reports that the five men killed in the explosion at an industrial unit in Boston, Lincolnshire, were Polish migrants illegally distilling vodka have produced a flood of distasteful and racist comments. That is an entirely deplorable reaction.

Danny Cipriani omitted from team as talks continue

Danny Cipriani has been left out of the Melbourne Rebels' team for Friday's Super 15 clash with the Stormers.

Danny Cipriani in talks over Melbourne future

Melbourne Rebels assistant coach Damien Hill has denied suggestions Danny Cipriani has walked out on the club but concedes talks are ongoing about the Englishman's future with the Super 15 new boys.

The Acid Test, Royal Court: Theatre Upstairs, London

Anya Reiss won a stack of "most promising playwright" awards for Spur of the Moment, a piece she wrote when she was all of 17. There must be envious contemporaries who would not be heartbroken to see her take a tumble at that notoriously tricky hurdle, the second play. It's bad news for them, I fear.

Marmalade vodka victorious at World Spirits awards

A marmalade vodka from Herefordshire has beaten off thousands of competitors at the San Francisco World Spirits awards.

Trudie Styler: 'It's worth venturing out just to go to the Popham Little Chef'

My earliest food memory... Boiled eggs and soldiers. My sisters and I would make the soldiers and my mum would cook the eggs, then we'd all sit down together. I'm still a boiled egg fan – I had one this morning, in fact – but the difference now is that I'm lucky enough to have my own chickens that produce eggs with lovely golden yolks.

'Mad Men' saved from real-life advertising row

Just as it looked as though Madison Avenue's most fractious advertising agency could become an episode of television history, its US broadcaster confirmed yesterday that Mad Men will be returning for a fifth series after all.

Cooper Brown: Saif Gaddafi

I am in complete sympathy with the poor people of Japan. I understand what they’re going through as fate has dealt me the same blow. A mini tsunami (water leak) smashed the Cooperdome, the floor collapsed and I am currently living in temporary accommodation (The Groucho).

The Business On: William Chase, Founder, Chase Vodka

Is that a new alcopop?

Mary Ann Sieghart: No wonder they've got a drink problem

If we had invented a system to encourage young people to drink too much, it would look like the system we have created now

Adrift boys were looking for vodka

Three teenagers cast adrift in the Pacific Ocean for 50 days admitted yesterday that they had been in search of vodka.

A little bit of ice with your water?

Coming soon to a restaurant near you: a polar bear's home in a glass. Bottled water taken straight from an iceberg in Greenland is about to be made commercially available at around £6 a bottle.

Duck shot

Serves 4-6

Red (12A)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren
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Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific