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

Fidel Castro, left, with his brother, President Raúl Castro, at the National Assembly in Havana, on Sunday

For the first time since 1959, Cuba faces life after Castro

Ageing President Raúl Castro, brother of Fidel, appoints new deputy and signals transition to democracy

Bo Xilai has reportedly been refusing to eat or shave in protest

Bo Xilai 'goes on hunger strike' as corruption probe drags on

With no charges and no trial date, the disgraced Chinese leader protests against unfair treatment

The Communist Party of France has removed the hammer and sickle from its membership card

A hammer blow for French Communists

The old phrase “workers of the world, unite thee” is looking a bit stale this week.

Vera Caspary: Succeeded in a male world

Invisible Ink: No 158, Vera Caspary

An author needs to be remembered by the public for something, anything, and here's one known almost as much for a tune as a book. Vera Caspary was born in Chicago in the last year of the 19th century. Her father's death and the approach of the Great Depression left the family penniless, so she began writing for money to support her mother. Moving to New York, she succeeded as an advertising copywriter at a time when the industry was completely male dominated.

Borislav Milosevic: Diplomat who defended his brother Slobodan

Borislav Milosevic: Diplomat who defended his brother Slobodan

He condemned his brother's arrest by the UN for alleged war crimes as 'kidnapping'

Postcard from... Beijing

When China's ruling elite gather for their annual parliament in March, incoming President Xi Jinping has insisted there will be no display of extravagance further to raise hackles about official corruption. No booze, no banquets and no boring speeches.

Greek rioters threaten minister as they storm his office

Protesters have forced their way into a government building in Athens and threatened a minister, as riot police intervened with batons, pepper spray and tear gas to expel them.

Tombstone: The Untold Story of Mao's Great Famine, By Yang Jisheng, trans. Stacy Mosher and Guo Jian

This epic work of testimony and investigation lays bare a Communist crime of the century

Karel Vas: Notorious communist prosecutor

Karel Vas, who died on 8 December at the age of 96, was a prosecutor who came to symbolise unlawful trials during the post-1948 communist takeover of Czechoslovakia. Vas was one of the state prosecutors who played a key role in show trials that used fabricated evidence to hand out death sentences to opponents of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.

Olga's Room, Arcola, London

This emotionally gruelling piece, originally performed in 1992, was the debut play by Dea Loher who went on to become one of the most acclaimed and widely produced German dramatists of her generation.

Thatcher's revolution, and its consequences: News International offices, in Wapping, East London

Bang! A History of Britain in the 1980s, By Graham Stewart

This top-down portrait of a momentous decade takes the side of its divisive heroine

Ranks of the Socialist Workers Party are split over handling of rape allegation

Trotskyist group exonerated official because it doesn’t believe in ‘bourgeois court system’ to deliver justice

The Sketch: Cameron goes chasing after the wrong fox

It's hard to know who should be more affronted by the Prime Minister's darkly archaic reference to "red pests" yesterday: the country's foxes or the Labour MP who asked why Cameron wanted to relegalise the hunting of them with hounds.

Leftists displaying banners and portraits of the late Chinese leader

Duel in the newsroom... How paper took on Chinese propaganda chief - and lost

Insider tells how Communist official demanded editorial be printed

Editors at Chinese newspaper call for end to party censorship

Editors of the Southern Weekend newspaper have asked for an end to advance censorship.

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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss