News Dmytro Bulatov,a Ukrainian opposition activist, says he was kidnapped and tortured

He led AutoMaidan protest movement that organised motorcades outside the houses of politicians and oligarchs

England's coach Gary Neville calls for realism and insists Hodgson’s work can be built upon

Neville: England are a top-eight team, that's it

Coach calls for realism and insists Hodgson's work can be built upon

Ukraine's war of words over Russian language turns violent

Lest anyone underestimate the emotional power that languages can hold over people, they need only look at the violence and anger stoked in Ukraine by a national argument over "mere" words.

Pro-Ukrainian protesters spray tear gas at riot police near the parliament building in Kiev yesterday

Ukraine police tackle protests over Russian language law

Anger at bill boosting the status of Russian speakers in the former Soviet republic

Supporters are sprayed with water as they wait for Spain’s football team to arrive at Plaza Cibeles in Madrid yesterday

Hat-trick of titles helps Spain forget domestic woe

Despite new cuts across the nation, thousands celebrate as their victorious football stars fly home.

Coach Cesare Prandelli faces the press after Italy’s caning in Kiev

My Italy project does not stop here, insists manager Cesare Prandelli

Coach defies negative press coverage after assurances from his national federation

Howard Webb pictured refereeing a match involving Portugal

Howard Webb misses out on refereeing Euro 2012 final

Howard Webb's hopes of adding another showpiece occasion to his glittering CV have been dashed after it was confirmed Portuguese referee Pedro Proenca will take charge of Sunday's Euro 2012 final between Spain and Italy in Kiev.

Mario Balotelli celebrates his first goal

Mario Balotelli: 'I wanted to make my mum happy'

Mario Balotelli insists Sunday's Euro 2012 final will feature the best two teams in the competition.

Charr: Unbeaten but limited

Steve Bunce on Boxing: Vitali's farewell fight is against a carriage clock of an opponent

I guess Klitschko just wants one more easy fight before he moves into politics

Alessandro Diamanti starred for Italy against England

Bologna eager to retain Italy penalty hero Alessandro Diamanti

Bologna have no intention of selling Alessandro Diamanti this summer, according to club president Albano Guaraldi.

Steven Gerrard’s flashes of quality were nowhere near enough for England

James Lawton: Our culture was once envy of world – now it's in ruins

Where do we start – again – on the latest breakdown in England's ability to compete seriously against grown-up football nations?

England captain Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard hopes England can improve quickly

Steven Gerrard hopes England's glaring problem keeping the ball is resolved far quicker than many envisage.

Two decades of agony – England’s penalty shootout woes since 1990

Football hooliganism used to be known as the English disease, but after their sixth penalty shootout exit in 22 years, it appears an inability to score from 12 yards is the real national sickness.  

Mario Balotelli is silenced by his Italian team-mate Leonardo Bonucci after scoring

Exclusive: Mario Balotelli was going to send message to a critical Italian media after his goal against Ireland

It is the latest of many enigmas to have surrounded Mario Balotelli in his short career. Why did his Italy teammate Leonardo Bonucci clamp a hand over the 21-year-old striker’s mouth after his goal against Ireland, five days ago?

Gary Neville on England: 'I genuinely believe there is a good spirit in this this team. I believe it is a squad without ego. I think they are all working for one another and you can see that on the pitch.'

Neville’s calming presence helps England rise above the egos

An accurate measure of just how much Roy Hodgson has reunited a fractious England camp can be found in the outspoken and insightful rhetoric of Gary Neville.

Power player: Lukas Podolski is an integral part of Germanys attack but he was sacrificed as Joachim Löw sought more pace against Greece

Löw proving a master at exploiting weakness

But can the clever coach protect Germany from their own?

Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959
voicesWard committed no crime, and the truth is still being covered up, writes Geoffrey Robertson QC
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 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