News North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walks past his uncle Jang Song Thaek - Jang Song Thaek is reported to have been executed for 'attempting to overthrow the state'

Claims that secretive communist regime has carried out a further brutal purge of those the young leader sees as a threat to his authority

Bo Xilai at the National People’s Congress in Beijing in March

China strips disgraced politician Bo Xilai of his last official position

China stripped disgraced politician Bo Xilai of his last official position today, formally expelling him from the country's top legislature and setting the stage for criminal proceedings against him.

Mourners weep during the funeral procession for North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in snowy Pyongyang

Leave 'no trace of him behind, down to the hair': North Korean official 'executed with mortar round' after drinking during mourning period for Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il

A North Korean army minister has reportedly been executed after drinking during the mourning period for Kim Jong-il.

China: Top-ranking military officers reshuffled

Beijing has named a new air force commander and reshuffled other top military positions ahead of next month's appointment of new Communist Party leaders.

Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-56

Communism's end was in its beginning

Cuba relaxes its grip on exit visas

Cuba eases travel abroad for many citizens

FIFTY years after the Cuban missile crisis, there are signs even Cuban government is beginning to relax.

Ruthless and charming, Cambodia mourns its ‘King-Father’

Cambodia mourns its ruthless and charming 'King Father'

The body of Cambodia's former king, Norodom Sihanouk, will be displayed for up to three months before a large state funeral is held for the mercurial and widely loved monarch who died after suffering a heart attack.

The last bronze statue of Vladimir Lenin was dismantled in the capital, Ulan Bator

Ulan Bator says goodbye, Lenin

The last bronze statue of Vladimir Lenin was dismantled in the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator, yesterday. The monument was hoisted off its plinth in a park and dropped on to a flat-bed lorry at a ceremony attended by the Mayor, Bat-Uul Erdene.

European Union earns the Nobel Peace Prize – and a few brickbats

Greeks and Ukip unite to condemn the award for ‘transforming’ a warring continent

Archive on 4: A Life in History, Radio 4, MondayNight Waves, Radio 3, Monday

Better red than dead – the life of Comrade Hobsbawm

Scattered Sand: The story of China's rural migrants By Hsiao-Hung Pai

The painstaking journalism here offers remarkable insights into the plight of China's new citizens

Review Round-up: J K Rowling's The Casual Vacancy

As of 8 a.m. this morning, the most anticipated book of the year was available to read and review without the threat of walloping legal action. Hundreds of fans will be sneaking chapters on their loo-breaks. But has The Casual Vacancy cast a spell on critics?

Police carry away the body of Zhou Kehua from the spot he was shot dead

China ends biggest-ever manhunt with deadly show of its authority as Zhou Kehua is tracked down

'Most dangerous man' cornered and killed by police in show of strength by a ruling party under pressure

Deconstructing Gaming: Sonic on the couch

The first in our semi-regular, and most certainly satirical, character assassinations of gaming's virtual icons.

Disgrace: The former golden couple Gu Kailai and Bo Xilai; she awaits trial, he is being held

Old Harrovian murder holds China in thrall

Prosecutors claim 'irrefutable' evidence of Gu Kailai's involvement

Inner emigration: Hitler Youth rally, in Germany, in 1935

Not Me: Memoirs of a German Childhood, By Joachim Fest, trans. Martin Chalmers

Can this historian's proud record of his family and youth show why Germans fell for Hitler?

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
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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
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried