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Market gossips turned their attention back to Tullow Oil yesterday, as rumours of possible bid interest from China prompted it to spurt up 34p to 1,109p on the blue-chip index.

Chávez retains grip on power after surgery

Venezuela's President has been in Cuba for cancer treatment, but the opposition seems powerless to mount a serious challenge

Robert Fisk: How Iran wages its own global 'war on terror'

The Iranians know how to do these things.

Tsonga has long hinted at being a heavyweight hit

After recent dip Frenchman is back to his belting best (just don't mention his Muhammad Ali resemblance)

How the demise of a trusted adviser could bring down Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iran's President has survived mass uprisings, but a corruption row engulfing his inner circle may soon be his undoing. Robert Fisk reports from Tehran

Incendies, Denis Villeneuve, 131 mins (15)<br/>Viva Riva! Djo Munga, 96 mins (15)<br/>The First Grader, Justin Chadwick 105 mins (12A)

If violence in distant countries is not your thing...then this is not your week

Backlash over Labour reform

Ed Miliband was facing a left-wing backlash last night over his move to scrap elections for places around Labour's top table.

Labour delivers blow to Clegg's Lords plans

Nick Clegg's plans to create an elected House of Lords suffered a big setback last night when Labour vowed to oppose the shake-up and peers from all parties lined up to attack it.

State spies watch as Suu Kyi marks her first birthday in freedom

For the first time in nearly a decade, the Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi celebrated her birthday in freedom yesterday, with supporters freeing symbolic caged birds as state security agents watched from across the street.

Britain calls on EU to impose new sanctions against Belarus

Measures to include freezing assets and banning visas of Lukashenko's associates over his human-rights crackdown

King of Morocco unveils constitutional reforms

Moroccan King Mohammed VI announced a series of constitutional reforms in a speech that he said will turn the North African country into a constitutional monarchy, though pro-democracy activists remain sceptical.

Belarus: Protesters defy President's warning

Up to 1,000 people turned out in the Belarus capital yesterday in a rare protest against economic hardship, defying a warning by President Alexander Lukashenko that he would "strike hard" against them.

Independent Voices: Hacked off with free speech

With injunctions, super-injunctions, libel, the Arab Spring, Twitter privacy and Google in China all high on the public agenda, the issue of Free Speech – and its limits – has never been more pertinent.

The victims: 'We want democracy, we have had enough of this dictatorship'

More than 50 people were shot on the day that members of the Mukhabarat, Basher al-Assad's secret police, opened fire on a demonstration, killing 22 people. Ali, a 31-year-old farmer, was shot in the leg.

Erdogan's ruling party wins election

Turkey's ruling party won a third term in parliamentary elections yesterday, setting the stage for the rising regional power to pursue economic growth, assertive diplomacy and an overhaul of the military-era constitution. But the Justice and Development Party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan fell short of a two-thirds majority in parliament, a shortcoming that will force it to seek support for constitutional change from other political groups.

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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas