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?

Decline and fall of Yeltsin empire

THE REIGN of "Tsar" Boris Yeltsin has entered its twilight. His television appearance yesterday to explain why he had reappointed a prime minister whom he sacked only five months ago was not quite as humiliating as a prime-time confession to an affair with an intern. But it was bad enough. His choice of a premier who is widely disliked, and whose name is associated with fudge, economic decline, and cronyism, is a personal defeat.

Here's a novel idea: the West takes over Russia's management

The emperor is naked - Russia hardly matters in world affairs in any positive, constructive sense

A rotten, decaying nation

Russia's problems are usually presented as highly dramatic. In reality, things just get steadily bleaker

Street Life: My ex-friend, the Fascist

SAMOTECHNY LANE, MOSCOW

Yeltsin's words go missing on the Net

WITH a team of advisers on hand to correct any gaffes and to edit his lengthy replies, Boris Yeltsin made his first public appearance in cyberspace yesterday and - even in this spin doctor's paradise - became the focus of a strange controversy.

THE LAST OF BORIS

As the Russian President prepares to visit the G8 summit in Britain later this month, critics are left wondering just how much longer Boris Yeltsin can remain in power

China will not follow Russia down the stony path of political reform

Rupert Cornwell on Premier Zhu Rongji

Yeltsin gives disgraced spy chief key post

BORIS YELTSIN yesterday moved to bring order to the chaos caused by his government cull, by saying he will not run again for office and naming a once-disgraced ex-security service chief as Interior Minister.

UN 'green helmets' to respond to eco-crises

UNITED NATIONS "green helmets" may be mobilised to fight environmental emergencies, said a top UN official.

In The News: Boris Yeltsin - Immortal - for the time being at least

"YELTSIN is like a cat, he has nine lives," a Russian equities trader commented yesterday when the markets dipped on the news that once again the 67-year-old Kremlin leader was ill. The stock exchange is sensitive to such matters. National television was less excited, leading its news bulletins with the latest on the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Norway. The man in the street shrugged his shoulders, sure that the President would soon be back.

Good vibes

UNESCO made Mstislav Rostropovich, the cellist and conductor, one of its goodwill ambassadors and urged him to work for peace, human rights, justice and literacy. Rostropovich, 70, said he would keep working "to make everyone happy". Rostropovich, had to leave the Soviet Union in 1974, and lived in exile in the US until his rehabilitation in 1990 by then-president Mikhail Gorbachev.

Thatcher link to Chechens will embarrass UK

BARONESS Thatcher will host a dinner for the president of the breakaway republic of Chechnya in London next week, in a demonstrative act of support which seems likely to irritate and embarrass the Foreign Office in equal measure. The British government has kept the Chechens at arm's length, despite their continued proclamations of independence. In Moscow and Chechnya, the former prime minister remains a name to conjure with.

Media: Yes minister, you need the Sixsmith spin

A star BBC correspondent is taking on his toughest assignment yet - media fixer for Harriet Harman. David Walker reports

Iraq crisis: Old friends in the north try to aid Baghdad

Why, when it comes to Iraq, can Russia get to the parts that others fail to reach? asks Phil Reeves

Books: Riding the Russian rollercoaster

Steve Crawshaw discovers there is more to modern Russia than poverty, murder and the Mafia
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Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
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Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
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The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game