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.

5SM leader Beppe Grillo

Beppe Grillo: Northern Europe waiting to drop Italy like a hot potato

The head of the protest movement that stunned Italy’s political establishment by snatching a quarter of the vote in last month’s general election has spelt out his Eurosceptic credentials, with comments that will send shivers up the spine of other eurozone members.

Book review: A Man Without Breath, by Philip Kerr

When Scott Fitzgerald said there were no second acts in American lives, he provided a thousand writers with the opportunity to refute that assertion. But had he said it about British lives, it would still be untrue — as the example of Philip Kerr attests.

Paperback review: Going to the Dogs, The Story of a Moralist, By Erick Kastner

It's easy to see why Erick Kastner's 1936 novel is being reissued now: his focus on a pre-Nazi Germany, in the grip of recession, where over-educated white-collar workers are struggling not to return to the impoverished states of their working-class parents, has something to say about our present times.

On Politics: A history of political thought from Herodotus to the present, By Alan Ryan

As cynical voters scorn politics, this epic survey reminds us why its ideals still matter so much

In The Studio: Simon Starling, artist

'It's about the long route from A to B. The sense of the detour is important to me'

David Bowie strikes a pose at Cannes in 1983

Where was he then? Bowie relives odyssey in Seventies Berlin

Berlin’s much vaunted love affair with David Bowie has been given a new lease of life with the release of the singer’s first album in a decade, featuring a track dedicated to his time in the once-divided Cold War city at the end of the 1970s.

She may be a conservative Christian Democrat, but Angela Merkel enjoys being described as the “greenest” Chancellor the Germans have ever had

Postcard from... Berlin

She may be a conservative Christian Democrat, but Angela Merkel enjoys being described as the “greenest” Chancellor the Germans have ever had. The reputation does not stem entirely from her post-Fukushima policy U-turn which prompted her to announce an abrupt end to German nuclear power.

Hessel emigrated to France when he was eight

France's spirit of resistance, Stéphane Hessel, dies at the age of 95

Stéphane Hessel, the French resistance hero, diplomat and writer who became an icon of anti-capitalist protests, died today in Paris.

John Kerry visits the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

John Kerry's Berlin visit is a chance to reminisce... and look ahead

The first time John Kerry was in Berlin, he was a boisterous boy of 10 risking his father’s diplomatic standing with clandestine bicycle rides into the Russian sector of the Cold War city.

Postcard from... Berlin

Postcard from... Beirut

While Europe is engulfed by its horse-meat scandal, Lebanon is battling its own food crisis: wood shavings in its beloved zaatar manakeesh.

Postcard from... Berlin

RAF investigates 1980s child abuse claims

Alleged offences committed at base in Germany

Jonas Kaufmann, Wagner (Decca)

Album review: Jonas Kaufmann, Wagner (Decca)

There's a moment, early on in “Ein Schwert verhiess mir der Vater”, the opening selection of this superb collection of Wagner arias and lieder, when Jonas Kaufmann, as Siegmund, lets out the huge, long cries of “Wälse!” with extraordinary power.

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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...