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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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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor