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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Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
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Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
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Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all