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

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: He may have been coached, but was Sir David Nicholson ready for these Reservoir Dogs?

The Public Accounts Select Committee members are the Reservoir Dogs of Parliament. It’s not just their capacity to terrorise, but the black humour they use for light relief as they hunt down the multibillion-pound stashes of public money absorbed by government departments.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last President of the Soviet Union

Former Soviet President, Mikhail Gorbachev, admitted to hospital for tests

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last President of the Soviet Union, has been admitted to the Kremlin hospital in Moscow for tests, amid growing concern over his health.

Chen in court in 1998; he was sentenced to 16 years in prison

Chen Xitong: Disgraced former mayor of Beijing

'A regrettable tragedy that could have been avoided,' he later said of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre

Xi Jinping, who became president in March, is accused of taking China backwards

Mothers of Tiananmen victims condemns Chinese leader Xi Jinping for failure to bring reforms

The families of protesters killed during the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing have written an open letter strongly criticising the new leadership of Xi Jinping for failing to introduce political reforms.

Baby No 59 was rescued after being in the sewage pipe for two days

China, Baby 59, and national self-deception

The mother deserves space, sympathy and a second-chance. The state deserves scrutiny

Postcard from... Berlin

Congress party workers clash with police at a protest after the rebel attack

‘An attack on democracy’: India reeling after Maoist rebels murder politicians

The rebels may be present in as many as 20 of India’s 28 states and active in half that number

Valtr Komarek: One of the velvet revolutionaries

Valtr Komarek, who died yesterday at the age of 82, was a left-wing Czech politician and economist who helped overthrow the country's communist regime. He briefly served as deputy premier of the first post-communist government.

Postcard from... Berlin

Monks and Buddists singing scriptures

China's 100 million religious believers must banish their 'superstitions', says official

China is struggling to get its estimated 100 million religious believers to banish superstitious beliefs about things like sickness and death, the country's top religious affairs official told a state-run newspaper.

Lord Hall

BC chiefs face grilling by MPs over 'Panorama'

Culture committee to investigate university's complaint about secret filming in North Korea

Joo-il Kim, a North Korean defector who now lives in New Malden, Surrey

Q&A: So, North Korean defector Joo-il Kim, what was life like for you at home?

The Independent spoke to Joo-il Kim, a North Korean defector who now lives in New Malden, Surrey, about his life and the current political stand-off in Korea. His story of what led to him escaping is one of shocking sadness, but since coming to the UK - where he is working on a newspaper to smuggle into the country - he has been able to lead a much happier life.

Joo-il Kim defected from North Korea and now lives in New Malden

Never mind nuclear war, says North Korean defector Joo-il Kim, the reality of famine is bad enough

Joo-il Kim believes the rhetoric is just a distraction

Reopening day: Sloppy Joe’s was buzzing on Friday

Cheers at Sloppy Joe's: Ernest Hemingway's Havana bar is serving again

The one-time hang-out of Noël Coward and Sinatra, has reopened after 50 years

Neon Neon's new album is about Italian publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli

Neon Neon: A radical new sound from Gruff Rhys

Neon Neon, the side project of Super Furry Animals' Gruff Rhys (pictured) and dance producer Boom Bip, is back, this time with an album about Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, Italian publisher of The Leopard and supposed leftwing terrorist. Rhys came across Feltrinelli when he was given a biography of the maverick entrepreneur. In the Fifties, the scion of a wealthy family helped to smuggle Dr Zhivago out of the USSR before publishing Lampedusa's Leopard.

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