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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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee