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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.

Storm in a shot glass as advert redraws map of Americas

A whimsical ad by the makers of Absolut vodka aimed solely at consumers in Mexico has drawn the ire of some sovereignty-sensitive Americans, forcing the company to issue an unusual apology.

Teenager Coleman given first Aintree ride

Aidan Coleman was yesterday handed the chance to become one of the youngest ever winners of the Grand National. The 19-year-old, who has never ridden over the Aintree fences before, was booked to partner Mon Mome by the trainer Venetia Williams.

Pernod Ricard wins €5.63bn battle for Absolut Vodka

It is a drink whose time has come. Vodka is cheap to make, has no pesky maturing process and (as a result) lacks a strong flavour, meaning it can be mixed with any number of flavourings, or simply used as the base for any number of cocktails.

Russian ladies who lunch are finally given their very own vodka

It's the Marilyn Monroe of Russian vodka. The violet-tinted liquor bottle has been dressed in a white skirt, blowing up to reveal not a shapely thigh but the new "Ladies' Vodka" label.

My DIY beauty brand: Home-made cosmetics

They're overpriced, overpackaged and full of chemical nasties. So shouldn't we try cooking up our own cosmetics? Rebecca Armstrong gets busy with the beeswax – because she's worth it

Will Chase: Crisps and vodka: the proof is in the potato

Using the spuds he likes, Will Chase is trying to find another upmarket niche to build on the success of Tyrrells, as he explains to Lauren Mills

Diageo ditches Absolut Vodka in favour of Dutch rival Ketel One

Diageo, the world's biggest drinks maker, has abandoned its pursuit of Sweden's Absolut Vodka after buying into its Dutch rival, the vodka brand Ketel One.

Lough Derg lands upset to keep up Pipe's hot streak

The in-form David Pipe stable carried on their hot streak yesterday with a double at chilly Ascot, headed by Lough Derg's 14-1 triumph in the Grade One feature, the Long Walk Hurdle.

The Third Leader: Milk and honey

Some accuse David Cameron of a lack of substance. I hope they are feeling chastened today: this is a man whose announcement that he wants to make us happy is swiftly followed by the news that one of his favourite songs is Benny Hill's Ernie. Implementation in three days. Impressive.

Brazil gripped by fear as gang riots spread

Dozens more people, mostly prisoners, were killed and the streets of Brazil's business capital gripped by fear yesterday as a crime wave of unprecedented violence swept over Sao Paulo for a third night, taking the overall death toll to more than 70.

Book Group: John Walsh reviews the June book - Dry, by Augusten Burroughs

Self-absorbed, but a brilliant read

Shaken or stirred, vodka raises British spirits

For centuries, vodka's surgical jolt was a pleasure enjoyed only within the chilly confines of Russia and its Slavic neighbours. Even 40 years ago, James Bond's shaken vodka martini denoted something exotic and dangerous to British audiences.

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Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
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footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
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An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
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George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
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Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?