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

Mugabe turns back on power-sharing

Opposition ignored as another election looms

'Assassination attempt' on Mugabe henchman

Head of Zimbabwe's air force recovering in hospital after ambush near his home, state media reports

Zimbabwe cholera deaths near 1,000

The death toll from cholera in Zimbabwe has risen to 978, with 18,413 suspected cases, the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in Geneva.

Around the world in 80 clicks

Exploring the Forbidden City, the White House, or even ancient Rome is easy – thanks to the internet. But, asks Clare Rudebeck, can virtual tourism ever replace the real thing?

Zimbabwe borders 'must close'

Zimbabwe's neighbours should close their borders in an attempt to bring down President Robert Mugabe, Botswana's Foreign Minister said yesterday.

African leaders start Zimbabwe summit

Southern African leaders opened a regional summit on Zimbabwe in South Africa on Sunday, hoping to break a deadlock over the allocation of cabinet posts which has prevented formation of a power-sharing government.

Lives Remembered: Robert Graham Holt

My stepfather, Robert Graham Holt, died on 27 July after a notable career as an agriculturalist and teacher in developing countries, mainly African, followed by devoted service to the local Suffolk community in which lived with his wife on retirement.

Foster flies the flag for Britain's revived pool challengers

A pipe and slippers, not an Olympic podium, is higher in the pecking order of pastimes for most 38-year-old swimmers but the evergreen Mark Foster is no ordinary swimmer. His longevity and popularity were rewarded last night when his peers on the British Olympic team voted for him to be Britain's flag-bearer at tomorrow night's opening ceremony for the Games.

Five boats with beds

Why stay put in a hotel when you can have a new view every day?

African call for Zimbabwe unity government

The African Union called today for a national unity government in Zimbabwe, summit delegates said, after the widely-condemned re-election of President Robert Mugabe in a poll scarred by violence.

Fears grow for MDC secretary general arrested for treason

Amid mounting fears that the senior Zimbabwean opposition official Tendai Biti is being tortured in custody, his lawyers obtained a high court order yesterday that he be brought before a judge today.

No. 1 Ladies' Opera House to bring arias to Botswana's bushland

It may only be a matter of time before Precious Ramotswe is operatically trilling her way through her private investigations. Alexander McCall Smith, the author of The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, has founded Botswana's first opera house, The No. 1 Ladies' Opera House. But the writer, who is himself no mean bassoonist, is keeping his plans for a future world premiere at the new venue firmly under wraps. He's brimming with enthusiasm, however, over immediate plans for his latest project which opens with "a grand-ish concert" on 21 June, sponsored by the Edinburgh-based author.

You write the reviews: The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Easter Day, BBC 1

Fans of Alexander McCall Smith's books have long awaited BBC1's television adaptation of The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and the final product, co-written by Richard Curtis and the late Anthony Minghella, and directed by Minghella, did not disappoint.

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Independent Travel
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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

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

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

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

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones