Voices

The new Library of Birmingham ticks all the boxes as far as so-called landmark architecture is concerned. Designed by Mecanoo, a star international practice. Slightly wild façade. Even more dramatic central atrium, spiralling up through the building. And at the  pinnacle, a golden ark containing the city’s original 1882 Shakespeare archive room.

Autistic boy top of the class

A student born with a rare form of autism which rules out everyday tasks such as making a cup of tea, has beaten thousands of other teenagers to score among the country's top A-level results.

Red flag droops in Paris as old guard marches out

The old guard of France's decidedly old-style Communist Party finally bowed out yesterday, on the last day of a party congress, after five days of line-by-line resistance to a programme of change.

Is moral leadership enough for those who have been left with nothing?

"The first need of any society is order. If order is to be produced in men and women, what kind of preparation for it is that which leaves the children as wild as young ostriches in the desert? When for the first 10 or 12 years of life there has been no discipline either in life or body ... is it to be expected that they will quietly and industriously settle down in mills, workshops, warehouses or at any trade, or in the orderly routine of any family ...?"

FROM PROTECTOR TO PERSECUTOR: BRITAIN'S GROWING INTOLERANCE OF REFUGEES

"Britain has a proud tradition of providing refuge for those fleeing persecution," wrote the Home Secretary, Michael Howard, in the Daily Mail last November. Indeed, he has a personal debt to that tradition: his own father fled to Britain from persecution in Romania in the Thirties.

Arts: A man of books

Julian Barnes may not be a completist collector. But he does like to dabble. By Andrew Lycett

Museum wins pounds 30m lottery grant for new roof

REBECCA FOWLER

LETTER:Karl Marx in, al-Masari out

From Mr Paul Dresch

first encounters: When Lenin met Trotsky

Illustration by Edward Sorel Text by Nancy Caldwell Sorel Next week: F Scott Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton

Red flags fly as Bolsheviks' heirs honour revolution

Russian Communists celebrate 1917 rising with pre-election show of force

Can this really be London?

Jaded urbanites can see their city through new eyes

Shots fired at first SA rally

London (agencies) - At least two people were killed and five injured yesterday when gunshots and political friction marred the first official Workers' Day celebration in a post-apartheid South Africa.

In defence of our noble and diligent Upper House

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold

The last word on money

Whether it is painted as the root of all evil or the means to a happy life, money always stirs strong sentiment. Kevin Jackson has spent time collecting a mint of ideas from some great and not so great thinkers

A quick pint, then it's back to the grotto

It's a dog's life, being Santa. Richard McClure meets some seasonal suf ferers `Most children just snatch the present from Santa's hand' `Child molesters are queuing up for the job'
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up