Paddy Ashdown

Lord Ashdown is a British politician and diplomat, currently Chair of the Liberal Democrats 2015 General Election Team

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Vladimir Putin has hinted that the Minsk peace talks with Ms Merkel and Mr Hollande may not take place

'Russia's growing threat': The West faces a very dangerous crisis – and it's partly its own making

Putin is challenging the peace on which modern Europe was founded

A general view of members of the French police special forces launching the assault at a kosher grocery store in Porte de Vincennes, eastern Paris

Paris attacks: We have experienced anarchy like this before. We should not over-react to it

Terrorism can’t be allowed to deflect us from the principle of individual liberty

DFID tents are loaded up at warehouse in Dubai ready to fly to Erbil, Iraq

If you had the opportunity to save people's lives around the world, wouldn't you take it?

We now have a chance to guarantee the UK's commitment to overseas aid

Collected Poems by John Donne, book of a lifetime: The "greatest poet" still takes Paddy Ashdown's breath away

Since the age of 16, I have had a copy of the complete poems of John Donne somewhere close at hand. For me, that was a watershed year. I had not been a good student – at best strugglingly average, to the despair of my father. In truth the classroom interested me far less at this age than the rugby pitch, the athletics field and the girls at the local Bedford high school.

Elections 2014: Lib Dems’ biggest challenge is not to lose our heads - Lord Ashdown

“I bring you nought for your comfort,
Yea, nought for your desire.
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.”

I suspect that many Lib Dems waking on Monday morning will identify with King Alfred’s speech to his ragged army in G.K Chesterton’s epic “The Ballad of the White Horse”.

41 per cent of Lib Dem activists are dissatisfied with Nick Clegg's performance as party leader

Lib Dems’ biggest challenge is not to lose our heads

We have a proud record of achievement to take to the electorate at the next general election

UN Climate Conference: Fighting climate change is moral, vital, and in our own interests

Amid the political horse trading, politicians ignore climate change at their peril

Paddy Ashdown: We need a Tobin tax – but not to fill black holes

It is not just the regulatory benefits that are clear. The money raised could be used to help millions of children

Podium: Racism festering on my doorstep

Paddy Ashdown

Podium: Paddy Ashdown - Britain has five political parties

From a lecture to the Royal Society of Arts on proportional representat ion given by the leader of the Liberal Democrats
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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?