News View of hundreds of files in the archives of the former East German secret police, known as the Stasi in Berlin

James Hall had been forgotten after serving 25 years in prison – until the very different case of the NSA whistleblower brought the intelligence community back into the headlines

Corn prices soar as heat hits crops

A heatwave across southern Europe has seriously damaged corn crops in a region that accounts for nearly a fifth of the world's production, triggering warnings that British shoppers could face soaring bills and the economy may be hit by inflationary pressures.

Israel blames Iranian campaign of terror as bus bomb kills tourists

Attack leaves seven dead in Bulgaria - and is latest in series targeting Israelis abroad, says Netanyahu

78 dead in southern Russia floods

Torrential rains dropped nearly a foot of water on a Black Sea region in southern Russia overnight, setting off intense flooding that killed at least 78 people and forced some in the largely rural area to take refuge in trees and on roofs, officials said today.

Voyager into uncharted waters: Sjón

The Whispering Muse, By Sjón, trans. Victoria Cribb

Iceland's maverick storyteller returns with a cruise into legend.

Anthony Rose: 'Natural wine polarises opinion'

Stand up the man who complained on the Radio 4 Food Programme about "the sheer profusion of wines available from so many different countries and grape varieties and different takes on winemaking". What's wrong with lots of choice?

'Vampire' graves are unearthed in Bulgaria

Archaeologists have unearthed skeletons pinned down through their chests with iron rods – a practice to stop the dead from turning into vampires.

A museum guide shows a gold bust of the late dictator

Rebranding Stalin from hero to horror

It is an unusual way to begin a trip to a museum. "This museum is a falsification of history," reads a makeshift shiny banner placed at the grand entrance to the Stalin Museum in the Georgian city of Gori. "It is a typical example of Soviet propaganda and it attempts to legitimise the bloodiest regime in history."

The Week Ahead: Fewer Footsie newcomers amid the Eurozone fears

After the Diamond Jubilee festivities, things will be rather quiet in the Square Mile for the rest of this severely curtailed week. An opportunity, perhaps, to take a look at the fortunes of newcomers to the market this year – and those who have failed to make it.

Take the plunge: Sochi is among the Black Sea stops

Cruises: For added adventure,try a Black Sea package

If you love the variety of waking up in a new country each day, and wish to venture beyond the Mediterranean, try the Black Sea. You could tick Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia and Georgia off your "must visit" list. The last three are "difficult" destinations, so a cruise is the ideal way to get a taste.

Market Report: Man Group rise fails to halt relegation from top tier

Bye bye Man Group. The Footsie was saying its farewells to the hedge fund giant yesterday following the news that its time as a blue-chip index stock is about to come an end. Man may have been one of the few risers on a torrid day for the markets, but it was all too little, too late.

People shout slogans during a rally supported by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili against Georgian President, Mikhail Saakashvili, in the capital, Tbilisi

Billionaire brings Georgians out against the President

Tens of thousands thronged the streets of Georgia's capital yesterday to show their opposition to President Mikhail Saakashvili in the largest anti-government demonstration in three years.

Georgian Railway shelves its shares sale

Georgian Railway shelved its London shares sale yesterday blaming market conditions. The float was meant to raise up to $250m (£159m) and value the company at $1bn. It is a setback to the London Stock Exchange, which has seen little initial public offering activity over the past year.

Georgian Railway is blaming volatile markets as it pulls LSE float

Georgian Railway shelved its London shares sale yesterday blaming market conditions.

The journey was not without its perils - the men were detained by Iranian secret police and Paul Archer was deported from Iran when authorities suspected he was a spy

The '£80,000' taxi journey that took three men around the world

Some might say it is not uncommon for taxi drivers to take the long way around, but today three intrepid men have arrived back in Britain after a black cab journey that took them around the world.

Russia 'foils Winter Games terror bid'

Russian agents have foiled terror attack plans on the Black Sea resort of Sochi, host of the 2014 Winter Games, and seized a large amount of weapons and ammunition, authorities say.

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
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
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness