Youth is no bar to inspiring Welsh win, says captain Ledley

Joe Ledley finds himself in the almost surreal position of captaining Wales at just 22 and offering to "look after" younger players. He will wear the Wales armband for the first time in a competitive international today aware he is in charge of young players even more fresh-faced than he is.

Bale will miss pre-season after surgery

Tottenham Hotspur full-back Gareth Bale is in danger of missing the start of next season after undergoing surgery on an injured knee - but his north London club could be forgiven for not wishing him a speedy recovery.

Gunman kills 13 people in Azeri university rampage

Thirteen people were killed at a university in Azerbaijan yesterday when a gunman went from floor to floor firing on teachers and students after the bell rang for morning classes.

13 killed in Azerbaijan college shooting

Thirteen people were killed at a university in oil-producing Azerbaijan today when a gunman moving floor to floor opened fire on teachers and students after the bell rang for morning classes.

Bellamy back in spotlight but Wales still lack fizz

Wales 2 Liechtenstein 0

Pavlyuchenko threat to Wales

It was difficult to tell who was the more frustrated at the news that Roman Pavlyuchenko will be appearing in Moscow tonight in Russia's World Cup qualifier against Wales – Tottenham or John Toshack. While the former saw a written plea rejected for their new £14m striker to be rested because of what they claim is an ankle injury, the latter would have simply been bemoaning that Guus Hiddink will enjoy a near full-strength squad, while his own is drastically depleted.

Wales shocked as Paul Parry quits

Paul Parry has dramatically quit the Wales squad and will not be on the plane that heads to Moscow later today for Wednesday's World Cup clash with Russia.

Wales 1 Azerbaijan 0: Toshack left in the dark by frustrating Koumas

Jason Koumas missed a penalty on Saturday and for all John Toshack knows, he may do the same with the plane to Russia this afternoon. Said the Wales manager: "When we get to the boarding gate, they'll announce, 'Gate No 26, flight boarding for Moscow' and I'll have a look around. We'll know then whether Jason's coming or not."

Toshack relies on Earnshaw to lift injury-hit Wales

A little over five years ago, 73,500 crammed into the citadel of the Welsh capital to watch Mark Hughes's resurgent national side beat Azerbaijan 4-0 and so bring Euro 2004 tantalisingly, if cruelly, into focus.

Dick Cheney arrives in Azerbaijan

The US Embassy says US Vice President Dick Cheney has arrived in Azerbaijan as part of a tour in support of Russia's southern neighbours.

Injuries hit Toshack qualification hopes

John Toshack is facing his worst Wales crisis to date, with the World Cup qualifying campaign two weeks away. The Wales manager has worked for four years to build a new squad for the South Africa 2010 campaign, but the alarming deficiencies displayed in Wednesday night's 2-1 defeat by Georgia at Swansea, plus injuries, are in danger of scuppering his plans.

Adrian Hamilton: It's economics, not politics, that will influence Russia

Among all the dramatic and doom-laden suggestions this week of how to deal with Russia after Georgia, one of the most naive must be the suggestion that we can somehow separate the politics from the commerce, playing hardball with the one and softball with the other. Tell that to BP. Tell that indeed to the Ukrainians, the East Europeans or the Baltic states in their price negotiations for Russian gas.

Machine, by Peter Adolphsen, trans Charlotte Barslund

An oil pipeline into the distant past

The taste of excess: Can we save the prized Caspian sturgeon?

If the current demand for caviar continues, the prized Caspian sturgeon will be extinct in just 14 years. Can we save it – and still enjoy one of nature's greatest luxuries?

BP profits slide 22 per cent

Oil giant BP today pledged to close the "performance gap" with its rivals after a 22% fall in profits last year.

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South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

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Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

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The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

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Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
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Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
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Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

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Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

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DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

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Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

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