Kazakhstan dictator heaps praise on David Cameron and says he would vote for him

President Nazarbayev said he had been watching Cameron and praised him for 'the way he protects the interests of the British people all over the world'

David Cameron talking to a group of Pakistani students in Islamabad

David Cameron defends controversial Kazakhstan trip with pledge to secure UK jobs

Pressure groups have called on the PM to raise human rights  issues with the regime

David Cameron shaking hands with the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev

David Cameron under pressure to raise human rights in Kazakhstan

Mr Cameron will be the first serving British Prime Minister to visit the former Soviet republic

David Cameron's trip to Kazakhstan offers him a major opportunity - but will he take it?

It should be both easy and timely for Cameron to publicly raise concern about human rights abuses and the imprisoned opposition leader at the highest levels

Kazakh muscle to succeed in lowball bid for stricken ENRC

The government of Kazakhstan last night looked set to take the scandal-struck mining giant ENRC off the London Stock Exchange in the hope of stemming the tide of negative publicity it has brought the mineral-rich nation.

Oligarchs set to put in lower bid for ENRC

The scandal-riven oligarchs behind mining group ENRC today looked poised for success in their attempts to buy the company for a knockdown price of £3 billion after they secured the reluctant backing of its biggest shareholder, and rival, Kazakhmys.

A Frenchwoman attempted to impersonate her daughter in an English exam

You’ve failed your exams – and you get an F in cheating: French mum dresses as daughter to take end of year English test

It was the perfect crime. The French newspaper Le Parisien reported that a 52-year-old Frenchwoman had been apprehended for impersonating her own daughter in an English exam.

Kazakhstan's president Nursultan Nazarbayev invited Mr Cameron to visit when he was at the Olympics

Cameron will go to Kazakhstan despite dubious record on rights

PM to visit dictatorship that is expected to play key role in Afghanistan military withdrawal

Future of ENRC in the melting pot

A fraud inquiry, a dearth of information at the agm and a bid still swirling. Where next for the blue-chip miner that's 'more Soviet than City'?

The Soyuz rocket with Expedition 36/37 Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Flight Engineers: Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency and Karen Nyberg of NASA, onboard, launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station

Soyuz trip to International Space Station sets record of 5 hours 40 minutes - quicker than flight from London to New York

American astronaut Karen Nyberg, Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and Italy's Luca Parmitano will spend six months in space

Astronaut Ron Garan spending time in space

'When you see the planet from space it puts the common challenges faced by all humans into perspective'

American astronaut Ron Garan returned from his time on the International Space Station in a Russian capsule - and new faith in the power of global collaboration

Scandal-hit miner ENRC shunned by leading City brokers

Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank cut ties with company facing fraud inquiry

Britain top choice for international lawsuits: Windfall for barristers from oil-rich Kazakhstan

Foreign firms and tycoons increasingly decide to settle court cases in the UK

Laura Robson had won just two matches in six tournaments before beating Rybarikova

Laura Robson digs deep to set up Agnieszka Radwanska meeting

Laura Robson has not enjoyed the best of times since her stunning victory over Petra Kvitova in the Australian Open in January but the 19-year-old Briton showed great resilience to win her opening match in Madrid. Despite losing the first set to Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova, Robson recovered to beat the world No 48 6-7, 6-2, 6-2.

Market Report: Hambro's miner shines in gold rally

Peter Hambro's gold miner Petropavlovsk was glistening close to the top of the mid-tier index yesterday when the previously plummeting gold price rallied, reaching its highest in more than a week. The IMF said central banks are buying gold again and its price responded after tumbling the sharpest for 30 years last week.

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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas