Books of the year 2013: War

Private Alex Stringer, of the Royal Logistic Corps, was 20 when he was blown up in Afghanistan: "The reason I lost my left leg so high up is because the burning paint cooked my left leg all the way down to the bone. But if I hadn't set myself on fire, I would have bled out and died – as a result of it, all the arteries became cauterised".

Jeremy Paxman blasts David Cameron over WWI centenary comments

'What on earth is he talking about?' asks the Newsnight presenter

Troops from the 48th Royal Marines on Juno Beach, Normandy, during the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944

Normandy Voices: Why we're backing a campaign to record the memories of every D-Day survivor

The  pivotal battle is about to pass over the horizon of living memory

Museum staff go on strike

Two days of strike action at museums and galleries across Britain has begun in a long-running row over jobs, pay and pensions.

Former Conservative deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft is to sign a pledge to give at least half of his estimated £1.2bn fortune to charity

Lord Ashcroft joins Bill Gates' pledge to give up half his fortune

The billionaire Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft is to sign a pledge to give at least half of his estimated £1.2bn fortune to charity, it emerged today.

Foyle's War

Anthony Horowitz: Current Foyle's War series will probably be the last

Foyle's War creator Anthony Horowitz says the current series of the detective drama will probably be his last.

Portrait of Winston Churchill 'in crisis' to go on public display

A life-size portrait of Sir Winston Churchill, which he said revealed his soul during one of his darkest hours, is going on public display after years spent hanging on the wall of the home of his late grandson.

David Cameron promises 'truly national commemoration' to mark First World War centenary

The Prime Minister said there would be events to mark 100 years since the outbreak of war in 2014, Armistice Day in 2018, and the dates of major battles in between.

Portfolio: Cecil Beaton

He is known as a documenter of high society and glamour: the man who shot the Windsors, Grace Kelly, Vivien Leigh; Picasso, Dietrich, Churchill, Twiggy; whose aesthetic sensibility was affronted by the newly coronated Queen's nose being too red, Audrey Hepburn's neck too scraggy and Great Garbo's hands as having done too much washing up.

Last Night's Viewing: Who Do You Think You Are?, BBC1
Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies, BBC4

You do sometimes wonder about the posthumous contributors to Who Do You Think You Are?, those sepia figures, so stiffly putting their best face forward, who peer out of dog-eared family photographs as their character and deeds are described on air.

Maria De Villota

F1 driver’s life-threatening injuries after freak crash

Maria de Villota collides with lorry in pits after test run at Duxford for British Grand Prix

Keane (left) says: 'I pretended to be a vegetarian for weeks. It drove him mad as it was so insincere'

How We Met: John Keane & Alexei Sayle

John Keane, 57

Historian made up glittering army career

A military historian who faked an illustrious Army career has been found guilty at Peterborough Crown Court of perverting the course of justice.

Portfolio: Jim Naughten

Simulated battles aren't everyone's cup of tea – but for those who take part (some 20,000 people in the UK), they are a serious business: call their uniforms "costumes" and you might find yourself on the sharp end of a bayonet.

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: Orchids – the rare, refined beauties of the plant world

Might the day ever come when it would be thought inappropriate to express open and unqualified admiration for an orchid – I mean for its beauty, its elegance and its glamour? Well, stranger things have happened.

Career Services

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
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?