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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.

Secretive trader prepares to open up

Switzerland's Glencore is considering plans for what is set to be one of the biggest listings of the year. Nikhil Kumar reports

Tony Benn: 'Protest is vital to a thriving democracy'

The recent UK demonstrations by students against the huge increase in university fees has provided the latest example of media coverage of such events: they are often presented as being motivated by violence which endangers the fabric of our society.

We're only here for the beer: How good, local ales are saving our pubs

One year ago, the Highcliffe Hotel was on its last legs. Decrepit and unloved, this handsome pub in a Sheffield suburb was the sort of place where a handful of regular punters provided the only custom. "The owners didn't want it, the community didn't want it," Simon Webster, a local resident, says. "I believe that within a year, it would've been a block of flats and nobody would've cared."

Sargent Shriver: Politician and diplomat who ran for the White House and founded the Peace Corps and Head Start

Some people knew of him because of his connection with the Kennedy clan, and as father of Maria Shriver, broadcaster and then first lady of California by dint of her marriage to a former bodybuilder and film star named Arnold Schwarzenegger. Others remembered him as the Democratic vice-presidential candidate on the losing end of the second biggest electoral college landslide of the 20th century.

Andy McSmith: This isn't just about filibustering – it's about gerrymandering too

Nick Clegg has rarely sounded as angry as he did yesterday when he let rip at Labour "dinosaurs" in the House of Lords who had been up all night, impeding the progress of the Government's Bill on electoral reform. Some peers were heard fretting that Labour's tactics could be the final provocation that brings on the abolition of the Lords and its replacement with an elected second chamber.

New government begins with pledge to sweep away repression

A new government formed in Tunisia yesterday pledged the most wide-ranging reforms in the country's history in an attempt to end anti-government violence across the country that brought down the president.

Market Report: RSA gains as takeover rumours make a return

The revival of speculation that RSA Insurance could be the target of a takeover bid resulted in the group enjoying a late rally on the blue-chip index last night.

India: A Portrait, By Patrick French

Along journey across India can be at once tiring, exhilarating, frustrating, inspiring, and thrilling. As with the country, so with Patrick French's India: A Portrait. Here, French combines his lifelong passion, India, with his scholarly interest in the way that Sir VS Naipaul operates as a writer. Sir Vidia was, of course, the subject of French's absorbing biography in 2008.

Leading article: A vote that makes a difference

Since it was founded 21 years ago, The Independent on Sunday has been in favour of change to a fairer voting system. In the past, we have voiced support for more radical reform than the alternative vote (AV), which is to be put to a referendum on 5 May. But now we are urging people to vote Yes in four months' time on the merits of the case, because AV would be a valuable democratic improvement on the existing system.

The Verso Book of Dissent, Edited by Andrew Hsiao and Audrea Lim

This radical haul contains stinging assertions from Sappho to Chomsky, ("Propaganda is to democracy what a bludgeon is to a totalitarian state"), from Thoreau to Pinter.

Freedom from Fear, By Aung San Suu Kyi

This collection of Aung San Suu Kyi's writings, edited by her late husband Michael Aris, begins with an essay on her father, a soldier and politician who fought for Burmese independence, first against the British, then against the Japanese, then against the British again; he was assassinated by a rival politician in 1947, just before Burmese independence was formally achieved. His death was a tragedy for his country, but his ideals live on in his daughter, now happily released from her long house arrest.

Leading article: Click here for democracy

We extended a cautious welcome to the Government's Spending Challenge when it was launched last summer. It was a consultation on the internet, which invited members of the public and public servants to submit ideas for cutting public spending. As we report today, Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, is running a parallel exercise called Your Freedom to seek suggestions for laws and regulations that should be scrapped.

The Story of England, By Michael Wood

The Story of England is a grown-up version of Rudyard Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill. In Kipling's exceedingly good book, English history is told through a series of interconnected songs and stories that reveal the successive layers of Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Norman culture that make up "Old England". English identity, Kipling suggests, is intimately tied to the land because the land has borne witness to the island story and still resonates with its characters and episodes. It is all there, just below the surface, waiting to be excavated. All one needs is to find the right spot (the ancient Pook's Hill) and summon Puck, the "oldest Old Thing in England". Puck then works his magic by conjuring up the past.

Motown diva Teena Marie dies aged 54

The R&B singer and songwriter Teena Marie, best known for the hit 1980s singles "Lovergirl" and "Ooo La La La", died at her home in Los Angeles on Boxing Day. She was 54.

Archbishop reflects on suffering in the world

The Archbishop of York asked people to reflect on the "suffering in our world" as he delivered his Christmas sermon today.

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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor