Voices Pope Francis: 'I ask you to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it'

Is he doomed to play the role of Mikhail Gorbachev to an organisation long as secretive as the Kremlin?

Obituary: Vyacheslav Chornovil

VYACHESLAV CHORNOVIL, who was killed in a late-night car crash as he was returning to Kiev from an election meeting, managed the difficult transition from Soviet-era dissident to politician, but never quite achieved the success he had hoped for in realising his ideal of an independent Ukrainian state.

The day Armenia 'fell into hell'

Aid poured in when the region was laid waste by earthquake. But Sophia Coudenhove finds devastation a decade later

Brezhnev, Callaghan, Carter, Deng Xiaoping, Schmidt: where are they now?

THESE WERE the "world leaders" back in October 1978, when a little- known Polish cardinal stepped out on to St Peter's Square as the new pope and proclaimed his electrifying message: "Be not afraid!" Twenty years on, those worldly leaders are long since retired or dead, but the "servant of the servants of God" is still with us, still travelling the world, still tirelessly proclaiming the same urgent, universal message to all humankind.

The Pope is not finished yet

After 20 years in the Vatican John Paul II aims to put his stamp on the next century, writes Anne Hanley in Rome

The Saturday Essay; The amazing legacy of the century's greatest non-event

Because the Cold War was not a war at all, it seems doomed to fade much more rapidly from our memories

Obituary: Kurt Hager

KURT HAGER became somewhat notorious when he rejected the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's reform course for East Germany (DDR) in April 1987. He told the West German weekly Stern, "If your neighbour changes his wallpaper in his flat, would you feel obliged to do the same?"

The Kohl ERA; Unification, but at the cost of 1.7m jobs

1 Oct 1982: In a no-confidence motion, Helmut Kohl replaces Social Democrat Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. Unemployment in West Germany stands at 1.3 million.

West will reject call for loans to Russia

RUSSIA ARRIVES in London today as a supplicant at a specially- scheduled meeting of the leading industrialised countries, G7. The meeting at Lancaster House will address the Russian crisis, but the chances of the Russians receiving any kind of financial satisfaction are slim.

Russia `conned the West out of $20bn'

RUSSIA "TRICKED" $20bn (pounds 12bn) of loans out of the international community by concealing the scale of its economic problems, says the man who spearheaded its efforts to become a market economy.

How Helmut Kohl turned satire on its head

The German Chancellor is fighting for his political life. Frederick Baker has made a film about the strong feelings he inspires

The Independent Archive: Hardliners in Kremlin warn of civil war

4 September 1989 While the President is away, Communist hardliners demand action to quell nationalism, reports Helen Womack from Moscow

The `black dog' that picks victims among world leaders

THE NORWEGIAN Prime Minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik, off work for at least a week because of acute depression, is but the latest victim of a sickness that has long afflicted political leaders in many lands.

Russia's old hand at the helm

I still remember our dismay at the first public glimpse of the new premier - a sombre figure in a navy-blue raincoat

Russia's reckoning: History may still be kind to Yeltsin

SICKLY, ERRATIC and with hardly an ally in sight, the tsar is surely in the last twilight of his rule, no matter what he told the Russian people last night. But Boris Yeltsin may take heart at least that the ways of Russia with its former rulers are far gentler than before.
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Video: The official full-length trailer for the Jurassic Park sequel has dropped – two days early

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environmentNepenthes zygon had been growing for almost a decade and helping to keep down cockroaches
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booksPhotographer snapped celebrities for 40 years - but it wasn’t all fun and games
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital