A Day That Shook The World: Cold War officially ends

On 3 December 1989 the Cold War ‘officially’ ended when Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met with US president George Bush aboard a Soviet ship docked at Malta’s Marsaxlokk harbour.

The Gun: The AK-47 and the Evolution of War, By CJ Chivers

Introduced to the world in 1947, the Kalashnikov automatic rifle changed the course of warfare

Surge in defections from North Korea

The number of North Koreans defecting to South Korea has surged because of economic suffering in the North, with more than 10,000 defections over the past three years, South Korea's government claims.

Operation Napoleon, By Arnaldur Indridason

When the blood doesn't run cold

Thirteen 'Russian spies' arrested in Georgia

Georgia has announced the arrest of 13 people on charges of spying for Russia.

The Nearest Exit, By Olen Steinhauer

CIA killer reanimates spy yarns

Whoops!, By John Lanchester

"We are in Britain, to use a technical economic term, screwed," writes John Lanchester in this primer on the global financial meltdown. He relates the complex roots of the crisis with admirable clarity, attributing the crunch to a congruence of factors: "a climate" (the triumph of free-market capitalism with the end of the Cold War); "a problem" (sub-prime mortgages); "a mistake" (bankers' maladroit risk calculations); and "a failure" (on the part of governments, which let it all happen).

Osborne attacks Labour over 'Cold War' weaponry

Chancellor George Osborne launched a searing attack on Labour today for leaving Britain's armed forces dangerously outdated.

Cold War game is 'unacceptable'

A German student has created a computer game giving players a taste of life as an East German border guard shooting political fugitives fleeing to the West, to the outrage of victims' relatives.

Leading article: A chance to avert a new cold war

A two-day meeting taking place in Moscow this week may turn out to be just another talking shop, but it could also be the start of something much more significant. The subject is co-operation in the Arctic, a title which puts the most positive spin on what might more realistically be termed cut-throat competition for a slice of territory believed to be rich in natural resources.

Le Carré says spies plotted murders

Assassinations were carried out by British intelligence services during the Cold War, a former secret agent has revealed. John le Carré, who became a novelist after working for MI5 and MI6 in the 1950s and 1960s, said he saw "very bad things" during his career. In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Le Carré, whose real name is David Cornwell, admitted the British carried out "direct action", but insisted he was never involved.

Top officers face axe in 'leaner' MoD

The number of senior officers in Britain’s armed forces is likely to be cut as part of sweeping measures to tackle a £37 billion black hole in the defence budget.

North Korean Cold War debts repaid in ginseng

North Korea has offered a unique way to repay nearly $10m in Cold War-era debt – with ginseng, according to Czech officials.

Leading article: A good death

Tony Judt was a fine historian, a specialist in the 20th century, and a prolific author who never shied away from controversy. That, until two years ago, is how he would have been remembered, and his writing and teaching would have been monument enough. But now, for every one person who knew and admired him for his scholarship, there will probably be many, many more who will mourn him for the fortitude he showed in his last illness, the fearlessness with which he spoke about it, and the strength of his determination to use every moment he had left.

The Timeline: The Atomic Bomb

Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
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British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
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Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
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Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
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Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits