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Contributions from Bill Clinton, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the late Walter Sisulu, Cyril Ramaphosa, and his official biographer Anthony Sampson

The World Service: A global ambition

Mark Byford, head of the World Service, is pressing for more money from the Government. Never has the service been so important, he tells Louise Jury

Blessed are the peacekeepers - but not perfect

Deliver Us From Evil: warlords & peacekeepersin a world of endless conflict by William Shawcross (Bloomsbury, £20)

Leading Article: Russia's softer stance offers a small glimmer of hope

PERHAPS IT is the time of year, but it is possible to detect a glimmer of hope in even the grimmest of situations. True to the prediction of our Moscow correspondent, the Russians have launched their Christmas offensive in Chechnya. But there is a left-over crumb of comfort in the fact that they appear to be responding to the pressure of world opinion in trying to reduce, if not avoid, civilian casualties. The fact that the Russian forces have stopped saying that they intend to flatten the Chechen capital, Grozny, is hardly a great gain for humanity, but there are signs that they are allowing some civilians a passage to safety.

Podium: Knut Vollebaek: Modern conflicts and the legacy of ancient Greece

Taken from the Fridtjof Nansen Memorial Lecture, delivered by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Letter: Serb victims

Sir: According to Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, "the deliberate and systematic attempt to terrorise, expel or murder an entire people" must be dealt with decisively ("UN admits it never recognised extent of Serb evil in Bosnia", 17 November). Try telling this to the Serbs, Roma and other non-Albanians murderously expelled from Kosovo under the noses of K-For troops operating under a UN mandate, or the Krajina Serb nation cleansed from its UN-protected ancestral lands.

Letters: UN intervention

UN intervention

Leading article: The UN should be stronger, not a scapegoat

GLANCE AT the headlines, and this would seem to be the age of the United Nations. A UN-authorised peacekeeping force will shepherd East Timor's passage to independence. The UN is in charge of rebuilding Kosovo. A UN report this week was perhaps the most widely heeded warning yet that it may already be too late to stop man-made global warming. We will soon have an International Criminal Court under the aegis of the UN. Truly, world government would seem almost upon us. But opponents of utopia, if such it is, need not fear.
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Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before