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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

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Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
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Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
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Say it with... lyrics

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Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

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Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

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Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

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