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

Demonstrators call for press freedom in support of journalists from the Southern Weekend newspaper outside the company's office building in Guangzhou, southern China

Editors demand end of advanced Communist Party censorship at state-run Chinese newspaper Southern Weekend

Editors of the state-controlled Chinese newspaper Southern Weekend have demanded an end to advanced censorship of the publication by Communist Party officials.

Chinese journalists go on strike over government censorship of Southern Weekend newspaper

Journalists at a state-controlled newspaper in China have staged a strike in protest against government censorship – the first public demonstration of its kind in more than two decades.

A ‘re-education through labour’ camp in Tuanhe, near Beijing, in 1986

The long march to justice: China set to abolish forced labour camps

China's new leadership to abolish labour camps set up by Mao that still hold thousands of prisoners without trial

Postcard from... Berlin

If the man who now runs former East Germany's once-hated Stasi archive realises his ambitions for the New Year then sometime in 2013, The Rolling Stones will hold a rock concert on top of the East Berlin building still containing millions of communist secret police files.

Sergiu Nicolaescu: Politician and film director

Sergiu Nicolaescu, who died on 4 January at the age of 82, was a Romanian politician and prolific and popular film director known for his historical epics. Nicolaescu made some 50 films, and despite his career in politics, continued to direct films such as Orient Express in 2004.

Winters in the South By Norbert Gstrein, trans. Anthea Bell & Julian Evans

A frightening world of eruptive violence is recreated in this novel about the

China: 11 children killed in minivan crash

A minivan carrying 15 children to kindergarten plunged into a roadside pond in a rural area of eastern China, killing 11 children, state media and an official said.

Men of the British Battalion of the XV International Brigade in Spain in the Civil War, 1937

Briton who fought against Franco's fascists dies, aged 94

International Brigades member was the last British-based survivor of Spanish Civil War

Arthur Chaskalson: Key figure in South Africa after apartheid

Arthur Chaskalson was widely recognised as one of the key architects of South Africa's post-apartheid constitution, and also as its most renowned jurist. He burst into prominence as a junior barrister on the Rivonia Treason Trial defence team in 1963, building a lifelong friendship with Nelson Mandela and the other trialists, who were all sentenced to life imprisonment rather than death by hanging.

Mayan apocalypse prediction: China detains 100 people for spreading end of the world rumours, as California dashes for the survival bunkers

While China whispers, the USA is heading into full blown panic over doomsday prophecy

Embalmed body of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il put on display

Public paid homage and basked in the success of last week's launch of a long-range rocket

Communist Party leader Xi Jinping - now has his own fan club

'Fans' fawn over China's new leader

When Communist Party leader Xi Jinping made his first official trip outside the capital last weekend, to the prosperous southern province of Guangdong, his every movement was fawningly chronicled by a mysterious new microblog that seemed always one step - and many days — ahead of the official media.

Lomo: Shoot from the hip

It's analogue, has no autofocus – and no flash. And that's precisely why the Lomo is a cult camera, says Kate Burt

Influential modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer dies aged 104

He was a towering patriarch of modern architecture who shaped the look of contemporary Brazil

A batch of patients were unwittingly subjected to testing for the blood pressure drug Ramipril

Drug firms bought East German patients to use as human guinea pigs

Bruchmüller described how the patient in the bed next to him suddenly died of a  heart attack

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'