News Thatcher's iconic locks were as big a part of her image as her sensible handbag, but few knew, until now, just how long it took her to keep her famous barnet in check until the National Archives released her 1984 appointments diary

Thatcher's locks were as big a part of her image as her sensible handbag, but few knew just how long it took her to keep her famous barnet in check

Talking about that European elephant in the room has certainly brightened things up

Angela Merkel chose to sell herself to German voters as a master EU summit negotiator

Helmut Kohl

Bitter feud divides family of Germany’s reunification leader

Son of Helmut Kohl accuses second wife of controlling former Chancellor ‘like a stalker’

Peter Popham: Holding leaders to account is a democratic duty

The fall of the ultimate leader of a state – his execution, conviction or simply humiliation – is a dangerous thrill. The citizens who cheered the decapitations of Charles I and Louis XVI knew all about it, the surging, anarchic sense of power and vindication. The Egyptians who this year saw a supine, inert Mubarak wheeled into court, the Libyans who saw the Brother Leader butchered in the street like a rabid dog, knew that mood of wild elation.

Helmut Kohl blames Merkel for ruining his Europe project

Chancellor Angela Merkel's euro woes plunged to new and uncharted depths yesterday, amid disclosures that her former mentor Helmut Kohl had accused her of "ruining" the Europe he had helped to create and of pursuing single currency policies which he called "very dangerous".

Leo Kirch: Entrepreneur who built up one of Europe's largest media empires only to see it fall apart

From nothing Leo Kirch built up one of the largest film and television companies in Europe, employing nearly 10,000 people. Inevitably, he was compared to Rupert Murdoch and Silvio Berlusconi.

The tortured life of Mrs Helmut Kohl

A new book reveals that the former German leader's wife was raped as a child and hated life in the political spotlight

Mary Dejevsky: Who dares wins – in politics, too

It's not enough to be confident and ambitious, to have a sound party base and to do your homework more assiduously. You have to go on seizing the opportunities

The Perfect Nazi, By Martin Davidson

The "perfect Nazi" took many forms in the Third Reich. It had to, in order to ensure the mass mobilisation of the population behind the National Socialist cause. It could take the form of an Aryan woman pushing out baby after baby, serving as an incubator of future soldiers for the Reich, or of an ardent Hitler Youth member who was quick to denounce his parents if they deviated from the Nazi world-view. Or it could take the form of an SS officer, actively hunting down opponents to the regime and pursuing whatever channels deemed necessary to ensure the longevity of Hitler's rule. Martin Davidson's grandfather, Bruno Langbehn, fell into the latter group.

The iron Frau: Angela Merkel

Germany is flexing its muscles again – thanks to a tough-talking Chancellor who is enjoying popularity both at home and abroad. How has Angela Merkel done it? Tony Paterson reports

Otto Graf Lambsdorff: Flamboyant West German economics minister who brought down Helmut Schmidt

Otto Graf Lambsdorff, as he was known, had the distinction of serving as economics minister in Helmut Schmidt's left-of-centre government from 1977 until 1982, and then in Helmut Kohl's right-of-centre coalition until 1984.

Bruce Anderson: The EU battle isn't over for Cameron

Although a short-term crisis has been averted, a longer term crisis is inevitable

The Fall of the Wall: 20 Years On

We know what happened in the years following the momentous events of 9 November 1989: the birth of a new Europe. But that week, fear mingled with hope – and The Independent's correspondents and photographers were there to capture the moment. In a special report, we present the first draft of history

Frau Fortunate: Angela Merkel

With a huge poll lead ahead of national elections, Germany's first woman Chancellor continues to be in the right place at the right time

And finally, Germans see the funny side of Mrs Merkel

Chancellor escapes lightly in comic biography three months before election
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President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
newsBumping fists rather than shaking hands could reduce the spread of infectious diseases, it is claimed
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
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newsHad asteroid hit earlier or later in history, the creatures might have survived, say scientists
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Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
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Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
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Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
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Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
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Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried