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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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Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
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Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
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Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
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'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering