Rob Hastings

Rob Hastings is Assistant News Editor at The Independent. He has served on the news desk since 2010. While working as a freelance reporter and feature writer he was also published by The Guardian, The Times and the Financial Times.

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Joo-il Kim, a North Korean defector who now lives in New Malden, Surrey

Q&A: So, North Korean defector Joo-il Kim, what was life like for you at home?

The Independent spoke to Joo-il Kim, a North Korean defector who now lives in New Malden, Surrey, about his life and the current political stand-off in Korea. His story of what led to him escaping is one of shocking sadness, but since coming to the UK - where he is working on a newspaper to smuggle into the country - he has been able to lead a much happier life.

Joo-il Kim defected from North Korea and now lives in New Malden

Never mind nuclear war, says North Korean defector Joo-il Kim, the reality of famine is bad enough

Joo-il Kim believes the rhetoric is just a distraction

A view of the cathedral's interior

Tuscany's Gate of Heaven opens its doors

The interior of Siena’s Duomo has drawn visitors to the Tuscan cathedral for centuries to wonder at one of the world’s most intricately decorated religious buildings.

Ansel Adams' son on why the British landscape wasn't 'dramatic enough' for his father

Michael Adams discusses why his father would have embraced digital photography but snubbed the aggressive stunts of environmental activists

Mother 'gave girl ecstasy tablets for 13th birthday'

The case of a mother who gave her daughter three ecstasy tablets for her 13th birthday present has been cited by the “Robocop” Mayor of Middlesbrough as an example of problem families.

Stressed? You bet I was. Shark wrestler Paul Marshallsea, hailed as a hero, is sacked because he was on sick leave

62-year-old apparently risked his life grabbing a six foot shark's tail as it approached the children

SimCity: The greenest ever Sims is here

The cult urban planning strategy game is back after ten years and could be the most environmentally friendly game ever

Derek Rose (left), the former fiance of Tamara Ecclestone (right), has been found guilty of blackmailing her

'Cynical and vicious': Tamara Ecclestone's ex gets four years for blackmail

A former boyfriend of Tamara Ecclestone has been sentenced to four years in prison for an "audacious" attempt to blackmail her for £200,000.

Tony Blair on going to war: 'The consequences are difficult and the choice is ugly'

Tony Blair admits Iraq still faces 'long, hard struggle'

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has admitted that life in Iraq is still not what he hoped 10 years after the UK joined a US-led invasion of the country.

WSDU news anchor LaTonya Norton speaks to little known Mo Farah

US newsreader asks Mo Farah: 'Haven't you run before...?'

Mo Farah has been asked many questions by journalists since rising to fame by winning two gold medals at the London Olympics in the 5,000m and 10,000m. But none will have been as ill-researched as those posed by LaTonya Norton of New Orleans station WDSU.

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Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game