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News Fidel Castro speaks to supporters after gaining power in 1959

It may seem hard to believe, after so many decades of diplomatic rancour, but when Fidel Castro first came to power, he did so with the assistance of the US government

Arts and Entertainment
Grand-Prize Winner and People Winner: In the last ten years, mobile data, smartphones and social networks have forever changed our existence. Although this woman stood at the center of a jam-packed train, the warm glow from her phone told the strangers around her that she wasn't really there. She managed to slip away from

Hong Kong man wins grand prize for picture of woman using her phone on a crowded train

Chairs are upturned and blood stains the floor at the Army Public School auditorium the day after Taliban gunmen stormed the school in Peshawar, Pakistan

Walls riddled with bullet holes, an auditorium floor covered in blood and a burnt out office where a suicide bomber blew himself up

A school boy who was injured in a Taliban attack receives medical treatment at a hospital in Peshawar

Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers have killed more than 130 students and teachers at an army-run school in the northern city of Peshawar

Sydneysiders visit the floral memorial for victims Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson at the scene of the Martin Place siege in the CBD in Sydney

Tearful Sydney residents led Australian tributes today at the site where a gunman and two hostages were shot dead following a 16-hour siege at a popular cafe

Participants hold German national flags and a banner during a demonstration called by anti-immigration group PEGIDA

Angela Merkel has warned ordinary Germans not to be taken in by the far-right rhetoric of so-called “Nazis in pinstripes”, after 10,000 people marched in Dresden to protest against “Islamisation”

A hostage runs towards a police officer outside a cafe, where other hostages are being held in Sydney

Pictures of hostages fleeing for their lives and police swarming around a Sydney cafe at the centre of a hostage crisis have emerged 

A woman takes part in an attempt to break the world record for the most people wearing Christmas jumpers on December 13, 2013 in London, England

Scrooges best stay in bed, as almost 4 million people are preparing to don garish festive knits for Christmas Jumper Day

A crew of workers try to clear a flooded stretch of Highway 101 in South San Francisco.

A deadly storm dubbed the ‘Pineapple Express’ by meteorologists has pummelled California and the US Pacific northwest

Plastic bags and other rubbish are collected from the waters of Manila Bay during a campaign by environmental activists earlier this year

There are an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the world’s oceans, weighing a total of nearly 270,000 tons, according to a new study

The Awards will see professional and amateur photographers compete across 25 categories including nature and wildlife, current affairs and travel
Prisoners in a holding area at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

A long-awaited report on the CIA's harsh interrogation techniques has been released with reverberations expected to be felt around the globe


Typhoon Hagupit has knocked out power and left at least three people dead as nearly 900,000 people fled to shelters in central Philippines

Protesters clash with police outside La Scala on Sunday night

Far-left protesters in motorcycle helmets clashed with riot police outside La Scala in Milan, bringing an element of class war to a glittering gala


Orion, the capsule that will one day take humans to Mars, was successfully launched into space — it will fly into space, before coming back down as part of a test that will decide the future of manned space travel

A demonstrator protests recent grand jury decisions not to indict police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, at Boston Common in Boston, Massachusetts

Powerful images emerging from across the United States demonstrate the scale of the anger taking hold in many communities in the wake of events surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and now Eric Garner


Young black men at Yale University have launched a blog dedicated to their “unborn sons” – in the wake of two separate grand jury decisions not to indict white police officers who killed unarmed black men while on duty


The UK is facing a squeeze after George Osborne announced “substantial spending cuts” in his 2014 Autumn Statement

Shoppers wrestle over a television at an Asda superstore in Wembley

At least three people have been arrested for fighting over Black Friday bargains as huge crowds caused mayhem in shops across the UK

Australian cricketer Phil Hughes has died aged 25

Phillip Hughes, the Australia Test batsman struck on the head by a ball, has died after succumbing to a serious head injury

Afghan intelligence personnel arrive at the site of a suicide attack along the Kabul-Jalalabad road in Kabul on November 27, 2014

A British security worker was among five people killed after a UK embassy vehicle was hit in a suicide bomb attack in Kabul

Arts and Entertainment

Japan has a rich heritage in architecture, a flair for using modern technology and a well-deserved place at the cutting-edge of the design world


Whole swathes of Ferguson, Missouri have gone up in flames as rioters and police officers engage in violent clashes

A general view of a flat in Cadogan Square shows ropes hanging from the remains of its balcony in London

Two people have died and six people have been injured after a balcony collapsed in west London

A massive band of lake effect snow moves through the south of Buffalo

Lake-effect snow is said to be the cause of an extreme cold snap and rapid snowstorm that completely covered most parts of northwestern US states

A police officer clashes with protesters outside the Conservative Campaign Headquarters after a march against student university fees in central London

Riot police clashed with student protesters as campaigners attempted to break into Conservative Party headquarters in central London

Ima, 47, is a public toilet attendant in Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest city. She lives in a rented room with her husband and four children aged 14-22. She is a very dedicated worker and relies on the income from her job to fund her children's education. She does not have a toilet at home. During the day, she uses the public toilet where she works, but at night she is forced to use plastic bags as it is not safe to walk long distances in the dark

The second annual World Toilet Day is an event raising awareness of the 2.5 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation - and the problems that brings

People in protective clothing are seen at a farm that has reported an outbreak of Bird Flu in Nafferton, East Yorkshire Britain

The UK’s wild bird population may be at risk following an outbreak of bird flu on a Yorkshire duck breeding farm

Members of the Germany team celebrate with the World Cup trophy

Germany has beaten the US to be named the best country in the world, according to a survey that rates nations on how they are perceived by outsiders

Cadet Harry Alexander Hayes plants the last poppy during a remembrance day ceremony into the ceramic poppy art installation by artist Paul Cummins entitled 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' in the dry moat of the Tower of London

As Britain remembered the nation’s war dead with a two-minute silence, thousands gathered at an artistic installation at the Tower of London to pay their respects

Arts and Entertainment
The last of the evening light on Durdle Door, Jurassic Coast, Dorset - winner of the Youth Classic View category

An image of a small stream created by heavy rain among vast Glencoe mountains has won the Landscape Photographer of the Year awards

Masked Palestinians hold axes and a gun as they celebrate with others an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to "respond with a heavy hand" after at least four people were killed and eight injured in what Israeli police described as a "terrorist" attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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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