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

Italian winger Mirco Bergamasco kicks a penalty

Roman conquerors: Italy hand Scotland 6 Nations wooden spoon

Italy 13 Scotland 6

August 8th, the rival Russian film of Hollywood's Five Days of War

Georgia and Russia resume hostilities – on the big screen

Rival productions offer very different accounts of 2008 military conflict

Police and forensic officials examine the damaged Israeli embassy car

Journalist held over New Delhi bomb attack

An Indian journalist has been arrested in connection with last month's bombing of an Israeli diplomatic vehicle in New Delhi, authorities said today.

Plot to assassinate Putin foiled claims Russian television

Russian and Ukrainian security groups have foiled a plan to assassinate Prime Minister Vladimir Putin after Russia's March 4 presidential election, Russia's pro-government Channel One television said on Monday.

Security footage from Bangkok shows the three Iranian bomb suspects, from left, Mohammad Khazaei, Saied Moradi – who blew off his legs in the explosions – and Masoud Sedaghat Zadeh

How bright lights of Pattaya seduced Iran's bungling Bangkok bombers

Numerous clues were left in the red-light district of the Thai resort by terror team. Peter Popham reports

Mohammad Kharzei was caught at Bangkok’s main airport

Bangkok blasts were assassination attempts not terrorism, says Thai official

The explosive devices belonging to three Iranians that went off in Bangkok were more likely designed for assassinating people rather than large-scale terrorism, Thai officials have revealed. They also said the devices were similar to that used to attack the wife of an Israeli diplomat in Delhi earlier in the week.

Iran 'must be stopped' says Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that Iran is destabilising the world and its aggression must be stopped.

Sun, sea and palm trees at Nauru in the South Pacific

Why are a South Pacific island and a former Soviet state so cosy?

At first glance, Nauru and Abkhazia make an unlikely pairing on the world stage, with little in common other than their obscurity, and desperate need for new friends. Nauru, the world's smallest republic, is a destitute South Pacific island microstate of just 8.5 square miles, with about 10,000 inhabitants and a critical shortage of funds following the collapse of its only industry of note, mining phosphate deposits created by bird droppings.

A person injured in the blast in Delhi is carried to safety yesterday

Israel blames Iran for embassy bomb attacks

Tehran rejects Netanyahu's 'lies' after diplomats in India and Georgia targeted

Sun, sea and palm trees at Nauru in the South Pacific

Nauru and Abkhazia: One is a destitute microstate marooned in the South Pacific, the other is a disputed former Soviet Republic 13,000km away, so why are they so keen to be friends?

Russia wants the world to recognise a breakaway state, but it needs other nations (big or small) to lend support. Where in the world could it find allies?

Police and forensic officials examine the damaged Israeli embassy car

Blast hits Israeli diplomat's car in India

Assailants targeted Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia in near-simultaneous strikes today that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed on archenemy Iran, and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah.

Boats are seen on a frozen stretch of theRiver Danube in the Serbian capital,Belgrade, yesterday. Army explosives teams have begun using dynamite to break up ice floes up to half a metre thick

Cold down the river Danube

Hundreds of miles of Europe's busiest waterway are frozen solid – and from Bavaria to Bulgaria, the continent's economy is seizing up too. Tony Paterson reports from Berlin

Divers search sunken freighter for missing crew

Strong winds and high seas are hampering efforts to find eight crew members missing after their freighter ship sank off Turkey's Black Sea coast in a winter storm, officials and reports said today.

Gas pipeline plan given green light by Turkey

Turkey has given it the go-ahead for the construction of a gas pipeline under the Black Sea, Russia's energy giant Gazprom said.

The world's most threatened birds set up new nest in Gloucestershire

They are the most endangered birds on Earth but at the weekend a captive flock of young spoon-billed sandpipers began a new life at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire, the celebrated reserve of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) on the Severn Estuary.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
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