News Curwen: Oleg Gordievsky called him and his colleagues 'the real defenders of democracy'

Head of MI6 whose achievements included bringing the double agent Oleg Gordievsky out of the Soviet Union

Alexander Litvinenko is pictured at the Intensive Care Unit of University College Hospital in 2006 - secret services allegedly asked the late spy to provide 'expert analysis' on a confidential Foreign Office report

Alexander Litvinenko case: Coroner will not consider Russian involvement in his death

The British coroner examining the death of an ex-KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko has today ruled the question of whether Russia was responsible will be withdrawn from the scope of the inquiry.

Keeping the Litvinenko papers secret will smooth the path of one possible Putin successor

Putin's chief of staff Sergei Ivanov was well known to the murdered double-agent

The News Matrix: Thursday 28 November 2013

Floods bring death and destruction

Former Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat

British expert says it's 'highly unlikely' Arafat was poisoned

Symptoms are very different from those of the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, says Professor Nicholas Priest

Putin is a 'proud buff dude' and Russia should not be vilified for anti-gay laws ahead of Sochi Olympic Games, says US swimmer

Richard Alther appeals to Russia President to treat gay athletes with compassion and respect

Alexander Litvinenko: The former KGB agent died from polonium-210 poisoning in 2006

Alexander Litvinenko's weeping widow appeals for funds to force inquiry into his death

The widow of a Russian dissident who died after being poisoned in London broke down in tears as she told how she was struggling to fund a fight to force a public inquiry.

Legal blow for widow of poisoned spy Alexander Litvinenko who risks bankruptcy by continuing her battle for a public inquiry

Marina Litvinenko’s fight for answers over the suspicious death of her husband, Alexander, has suffered another defeat after judges refused to protect her from facing crippling costs if she loses her legal battle for a public inquiry.

Five-minute memoir: Nick Taussig recalls a particularly trying trip across Russia

‘Mother Russia’ had long intrigued the author, but a journey across the country almost changed his mind

Edward Snowden claims he will face torture or the death penalty should he return to the US

US tells Russia: 'We won't torture Edward Snowden if he is extradited home'

Attorney General Eric Holder says the NSA whistleblower's claims of what he would face should he return to America are 'entirely without merit'

Alexander Litvinenko: The former KGB agent died from polonium-210 poisoning in 2006

Widow of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko says coroner 'abandoned search for truth' and calls for public inquiry into his death

The widow of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko has called for the inquest into her late husband's death to be abandoned and for a public inquiry to be held in its place.

Alexander Litvinenko: The former KGB agent died from polonium-210 poisoning in 2006

Fair inquest for Litvinenko impossible, judge warns

Hearing in danger of collapse after British Government’s accused of evidence cover-up

Boris Berezovsky post-mortem finds hanging is cause of death

A post-mortem examination on Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky has found he was hanged, police said tonight.

Boris Berezovsky rose to prominence as a key ally of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, pictured together here in 1998

Boris Berezovsky: Businessman who profited from communism's fall but made an enemy of Putin

Boris Berezovsky was one of the original group of seven oligarchs, the powerful Russian businessmen who had built up considerable financial and political power in the period following the collapse of communism. But Berezovsky had gone from being a friend of President Vladimir Putin to his avowed foe within a few years. Fearing arrest, or worse, in his native country, he had spent the last decade in exile in the UK, from where he continued to criticise the regime.

Marina Litvinenko: she was unsurprised by the delay - the last in a series of many - and says she still believes in the British justice system

Secrecy battle forces new delay in Alexander Litvinenko case

Procrastination, attempts to keep evidence secret and shield the identity of witnesses has led to yet another long delay before the inquiry into Alexander Litvinenko's death can start.

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Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
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In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
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Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

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Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

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Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

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America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone