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

The mohawked Neymar is proving to be a paparazzi dream in Brazil

Pioneers head east in game's latest gold rush as football opens up final frontiers

From Siberia and the Middle East to China, Rory Smith follows the trail of vast fortunes

Breakaway Georgian republic goes to the polls

Voters in Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia were choosing a new president yesterday for the first time since Georgia and Russia fought a brief war over control of the territory in 2008.

A world apart: The Grand Hotel Ushba

Trail of the unexpected: Georgian drama

Celia Topping captures a fairy tale autumn world on her journey through the remote region of Svaneti

Bidzina Ivanishvili lives in a custom-built castle on the edge of Tbilisi

Georgian billionaire comes out fighting

From rich recluse to political force, Bidzina Ivanishvili has vowed to oust the President

Russia gets its skis on

Winter sports

Euro 2012 round-up: Nerveless Nasri ensures France edge out Bosnia

A nerveless penalty from Manchester City's Samir Nasri, his first international goal in four years and 21 matches, enabled France to edge into Euro 2012 after a tense night in Paris.

James Lawton: Schedule still leaves the lesser nations at a disadvantage

Georgia went in seven points adrift of England, giving the World Cup a whiff of something special that might have coloured the game beyond the Caucasus

England's QC called off the bench again after Lawes' little knees-up

Lock the latest in trouble after being cited for 'assaulting' Argentina hooker during win

James Lawton: Call it treachery, but a small piece of me wants to see an All Black triumph

A New Zealand victory would give excellence and consistent striving their day in all the years of sore disappointment and underachievement

A to Z of the Rugby World Cup

A is for All Black Nation Buy some chewing gum at a corner shop in Rotorua and the 12-year-old assistant will say: "Fifty cents, and by the way... your back row's rubbish." Yes, it's that kind of place. B is for Breakdown The referees are bound to get their knickers in a twist at the tackle area, which remains hopelessly confusing even for the players. The first official to penalise Richie McCaw, the ball-snaffling bandit from New Zealand, wins a George Cross.

Win or lose, a black day will dawn

New Zealand start as huge favourites. Woebetide them if they come up short

North Sea Scrolls, Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh<br/>Beardyman, Assembly Hall, Edinburgh<br/>Amanda F*cking Palmer, HMV Picture House, Edinburgh

Never mind the stand-ups, the best humour in Edinburgh came from an unlikely trio who delivered a secret history of the United Kingdom

Medvedev reignites war of words over blame for Georgia conflict

Three years after the short, bitter war that left hundreds dead and redrew the map of the Caucasus, Russia and Georgia have been trading insults and accusations over what happened in the run-up to the conflict.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk