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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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own