Richard Askwith

Richard Askwith is executive editor of the Independent

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Captured soldiers of the Russian 2nd Army after their defeat at the Battle of Tannenberg

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Russia loses an army at the Battle of Tannenberg

For Russians, it was one of the great military disasters: an episode of epic incompetence that spawned at least one literary masterpiece. Richard Askwith reflects on the events in East Prussia in August 1914

The author's lo-tech approach is out of step with a hugely profitable industry

Back to nature: a modest proposal for a runners’ revolution

Recreational running is booming, and a huge industry is booming with it. But have the sport’s simple joys been lost in the race to make money? Richard Askwith challenges the tyranny of Big Running

The Kiss of Mud obstacle in the Tough Mudder event

Tough Mudder: The obstacle courses for adults that are now worth $250m

Crawling through dirt, plunging into ice cold water and scrambling over haystacks doesn’t sound like a route to riches. But a growing passion for extreme sports is turning it into just that

In Boston, the best of the human spirit was confronted by the very worst

The terrorist’s nihilism contrasts with the life-affirming instincts of the normal human being. There are few places where we can clearer see that than the end of a marathon

Review of 2012: Our writers and tweeters look back at a year's news from space to the jungle

Did it change the world, or just distract us for a day or two? Richard Askwith introduces our look-back at the past 12 months.

Helene Diamantides and Martin Stone, eventual winners, taking part in the 1992 race

Is The Dragon's Back the toughest race in the world?

The Dragon's Back, a five-day scramble across the mountainous spine of Wales, is so gruelling, it's only been attempted once. Until now, that is…

The Essay: System error

Parliamentary democracy was invented in the days of the horse and cart, and perfected during the steam age. In a world of ATMs and the Internet, isn't it time governments found a new way to let the people decide, asks Richard Askwith

<preform>Mystery. Murder. And half a century of suspense</p></preform>

Black magic was blamed when four teenagers found a woman's skeleton in a tree in wartime Worcestershire. More than 50 years on, her story still haunts this corner of the Midlands. But who did put Bella in the Witch Elm? And why can't they let her rest?

Mystery. Murder. And half a century of suspense

Black magic was blamed when four teenagers found a woman's skeleton in a tree in wartime Worcestershire. More than 50 years on, her story still haunts this corner of the Midlands. But who did put Bella in the Witch Elm? And why can't they let her rest in peace?

THE CAT FLAP

When mutilated cats began to appear by the dozen in London and the south-east, there was talk of serial killers and black magic. As Richard Askwith reports, the case of the mysterious `cat-ripper' has now been solved - but not to everyone's satisfaction
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there