Voices Germany’s ‘Bild am Sonntag’ newspaper claims that President Obama knew that Ms Merkel’s phone had been tapped as early as 2010

About a year ago, I began to recieve a wonderful series of calls from America and London

John Mensah scored but was then sent off for a professional foul

Ghana made to sweat as Mensah turns both hero and villain

The Ghana captain, John Mensah, scored a rare goal and was then sent off as the African Cup of Nations favourites, Ghana, laboured to a 1-0 win over Botswana in their opening Group D match yesterday.

South African police fire tear gas in clashes with Malema followers

South African police fired tear gas and water cannon at hundreds of rock-throwing supporters of the controversial youth leader of the African National Congress (ANC) yesterday as he faced possible suspension from the party over his outspoken demands that embarrassed its leadership.

Leading article: The ANC at a crossroads

Julius Malema is everything an Afri-can leader should not be. The head of the ANC's youth wing is charismatic and popular but – with his temper tantrums, lavish lifestyle, racist rhetoric, intolerance of dissent, purging of enemies, electoral manipulations and economically ruinous policies – he is a throwback to the continent's most disastrous traditions.

Violent protests signal power struggle in South Africa

Violent protests today by supporters of South Africa's firebrand youth leader are the latest political salvo in a power struggle that could determine the future of South Africa's president and the man who helped catapult him to power, youth league chief Julius Malema.

ANC loses patience with its 'champion of the poor'

The African National Congress (ANC) yesterday ordered its controversial youth league leader Julius Malema to appear before its disciplinary panel for "bringing the party into disrepute and sowing internal divisions".

ANC attempts to rein in maverick youth leader

South Africa's ruling ANC tried to bring its Youth League leader Julius Malema to heel at a meeting yesterday after the populist politician embarrassed the party by calling for the nationalisation of mines and meddling in foreign affairs.

Pills costing 15p are 'major breakthrough' in fighting Aids

Until a year ago the fight against Aids was focused on behaviour, such as using condoms and having fewer partners

Holloway and other haunts

In spite of her literary lineage, life's been tough for Caitlin Davies. Simmy Richman learns how she finally made herself at home

The Business On: Philippe Mellier, CEO-designate, De Beers

Diamonds are forever?

Lord Triesman to reveal 2018 World Cup bid details

Former Football Association chairman Lord Triesman will today give the inside story of England's failed 2018 World Cup bid when he comes before a committee of MPs.

Felix is forced to fight for 400m win

The American Allyson Felix was made to fight all the way before winning the 400 metres in last night's first Diamond League meeting of the season in Doha.

Michael Bywater: My brain can't handle voting reform

Like everyone else, I was planning on sculling down to the polling station on 5 May and voting one way or the other in the AV referendum. Which way? "Yes", probably, with "No" as my second choice. It sends a message to the politicians: you're up there because we're down here. And we can change things. It may not be the ideal change but it opens the door.

Telling Times: Writing and Living 1950-2008, By Nadine Gordimer

A warrior in the fight against racism

Sarah Sands: I've bailed out my car – and a final farewell to it

If you want to understand what an autocracy feels like, try your local car pound. Mine, which is typical, owes its architectural inheritance to an open prison, wasteland premises, high gates, ubiquitous security cameras. Inside the prefab reception, the tax collector, I mean clerk, sits behind an enforced window. The decoration on the walls consists of an epic, almost poetic, list of parking heresies. Otherwise, there is a jaunty warning of the consequences of a false claim of damage. Only once is the word "welcome" used, in relation to types of credit cards.

Steve Connor: The drugs are expensive. The cost of not using them is higher

It is nearly 30 years since the discovery of the Aids virus and a vaccine seems as far away as ever. In its absence, education and condoms were considered the only viable way of preventing the spread of HIV.

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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas