Arts and Entertainment

One of the most brutal battles of the Second World War was the Nazi offensive against Stalingrad where atrocities were committed on both sides and the soldiers also had to contend with starvation and freezing conditions during a lengthy siege.

Postcard from... Berlin

Anyone who has been on the streets of Berlin on New Year's Eve will know that the experience is exciting, if not easy. For most of the year Germany enforces strict controls on the sale and use of fireworks. But these are waived for New Year celebrations and every corner shop suddenly has a host of firecrackers, rockets and other pyrotechnics on sale to the general public.

Blur and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn

The end of the world might be tomorrow, but it isn't the end of Blur

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

Postcard from... Berlin

Inscrutable is an adjective sometimes used to describe the German chancellor, Angela Merkel. The most powerful woman in Europe doesn't devote much of her time to trivia. Nor does she usually let people know what's really going on behind that first-woman-chancellor's mask.

Howl great thou art: Douglas Gordon in his Berlin studio

In The Studio: Douglas Gordon, artist

'I've always loved fire. But it does get out of control at times...'

Liza Minnelli as Isherwood's creation Sally Bowles, in 'Cabaret'

Liza Minnelli to return to Royal Festival Hall 40 years after Cabaret

Liza Minnelli is returning to the Royal Festival Hall 40 years after her last appearance there as part of a celebration of Cabaret-era Berlin.

Editorial: Berlusconi's return bodes ill for Italy and Europe

The resignation of Italy's technocrat Prime Minister Mario Monti and the threatened return of Silvio Berlusconi have rightly sent shockwaves across the eurozone and beyond. If Mr Monti's arrival in power a year ago with his government of non-politicians, tasked to save the Italians from themselves, was like the appearance of the deus ex machina in a Greek tragedy, the return of the billionaire media mogul, who explicitly ruled himself out of contention only weeks ago, is like something from the imagination of Bram Stoker.

A view of the Bernabeu

Which stadiums will host Euro 2020?

Wembley among contenders to host games

Postcard from... Berlin

Communist East Germany may have been killed off with the fall of the Berlin Wall 23 years ago, but its products live on – and on. Some 90,000 former East German citizens queued up in freezing temperatures over the weekend to get into east Berlin's Yuletide phenomenon for insiders – a Christmas market dedicated to selling “Ossiware” – goods that were being produced in East Germany before 1989 and still are.

The bust of Nefertiti is now displayed at Altes Museum

Jewish philanthropist lost in the sands of time thanks to the Nazis

A wealthy  patron who funded the excavation of the priceless Nefertiti bust was airbrushed from history. Now, a hundred years after the find, his story is finally being told

Bold intent: Vladimir Jurowski conducting the LPO

IoS classical review: LPO/Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall, London
London Sinfonietta, Purcell Room, London
LSO/Bychkov/Kavakos, Barbican Hall, London

Death and grief prompt searing scores, interpreted with pathos and passion

Postcard from... Potsdam

Germany's Greens are proud to be Europe's most powerful environmentalist party but as is often said: pride comes before a fall.

The eyes have it: David Cameron and Angela Merkel at the EU summit in Brussels last week

Camerkel! A love affair at the heart of Europe

Who'd have thought it? The German Chancellor and our own Prime Minister in tune on the EU budget. Jane Merrick and John Rentoul examine an unlikely political romance and wonder – how long will it last?

Postcard from... Berlin

Wolf watching may not yet be part of Berlin's standard tourist repertoire, but the idea can no longer be dismissed as utterly fanciful: naturalists have sighted a pack of the animals and their cubs just 15 miles south of the German capital for the first time in well over a century.

In 1990 wolves were declared a protected species in Germany

Wolves close in on Berlin after more than a century

Naturalists in Berlin have sighted a pack of wolves and their cubs just 15 miles south of the German capital for the first time in more than 100 years.

London's technology industry has highest proportion of women entrepreneurs in Europe

London’s technology sector has the highest proportion of women entrepreneurs in Europe, according to a global study of 50,000 start-ups.

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Independent Travel
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album