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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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick