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Chancellor George Osborne launched a searing attack on Labour today for leaving Britain's armed forces dangerously outdated.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

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The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
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Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
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Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
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Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
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Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
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Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
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Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on