Arts and Entertainment

One of the most brutal battles of the Second World War was the Nazi offensive against Stalingrad where atrocities were committed on both sides and the soldiers also had to contend with starvation and freezing conditions during a lengthy siege.

Yet another end of an era: 'The London Gazette', the UK’s most venerable publication, goes online

It's one of the oldest newspapers in the world, dating back to 1665

Egyptian court sentences 139 pro-Morsi protesters to 2-year prison terms

Pro-Morsi supporters convicted on charges ranging from rioting to sabotage

2013 - the year in review: The best books of the year

"The Hired Man" by Aminatta Forna (Bloomsbury)

At least 31 people including three lawyers were arrested in clashes between protesters, who chanted 'Catch the thief', and the police in Istanbul

Anger at corruption scandal prompts Istanbul street violence

Anti-government protesters clashed with police in Istanbul on Friday amid public anger at the corruption scandal gripping the country.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, left, shaking hands with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta during a visit to Juba

Leaders push for South Sudan talks as fighting continues in oil-producing region

Fighting persisted in parts of South Sudan’s oil-producing region today as African leaders tried to advance peace talks between the country’s president and the political rivals he accuses of attempting a coup in the world’s newest country.

Egypt: Five injured in Cairo bomb blast amid new wave of violence

The homemade bomb detonated as a public bus passed by and a second was found secured to an advertising billboard

Kalashnikov with his creation, the most successful assault rifle ever made

Is Mikhail Kalashnikov in Hell? The man was confident he would not go there

World view: When I met him, his Siberian eyes were as alert as a wolf’s; he was brash, tough, unashamed. I guess he had to be

British soldier killed by enemy fire serving in Afghanistan with the Royal Engineers

A British soldier has been killed in Afghanistan while serving with the Royal Engineers.

Kalashnikov c. 1949, by which time his gun was standard issue for the Red Army

Mikhail Kalashnikov: Soviet general whose design for a cheap and reliable assault rifle transformed the nature of conflict round the world

With his stocky frame, and his general's uniform smothered with medals, Mikhail Kalashnikov looked the quintessential Soviet military veteran. But he was a veteran with a difference. For one thing he was a keen and lifelong poet. For another, having been badly wounded fighting the German invader around Bryansk in October 1941, early in what Russians still call the Great Patriotic War, he conceived what would become the most famous assault rifle in the world.

Chadian peacekeepers fire on demonstrators in Central African republic

Peacekeepers from Chad opened fire on a crowd demonstrating against their presence in the capital, Bangui, yesterday, killing one and injuring several others, protesters said.

Mikhail Kalashnikov dies: Five quick-fire facts about the AK-47 inventor

Mikhail Kalashnikov dies: Five quick-fire facts about the AK-47 inventor

As the Russian engineer passes away, aged 94, here are five quick-fire facts to get you up to bullet-speed, pronto

David Cameron sends Christmas message praising work of British troops in Afghanistan

The Prime Minister also reminded them of the 'purpose of the NATO mission' to make the country secure

A man prays in the CAR; 600 have died since fighting started

French President François Hollande isolated over conflict in Central African Republic

Mr Hollande has pleaded with other EU members to put more boots on the ground in the former African colony

Who said it: Joseph Stalin or Oliver Cromwell?

Vladimir Putin has compared Joseph Stalin with 17th century Roundhead leader Oliver Cromwell, saying there was no difference between the two men.

Effigies of the North Korean leader are burnt in Seoul by conservative South Korean groups, an action that prompted the faxed threat by the North

North Korea faxes South Korea threat to attack ‘without notice’

Addressed to the South’s presidential office, the threat was made after effigies of Kim Jong-un were burnt in Seoul

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This artist impression shows a modern-day Atlantis
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Vladimir Putin fixes a GPS satellite transmitter onto a tiger in 2008
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Animals found with 'puncture holes the size of a human finger'

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Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
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Fraud contributes 11p to a £2.00 box of half a dozen eggs
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Video: The official full-length trailer for the Jurassic Park sequel has dropped – two days early

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The plant ‘Nepenthes zygon’ was donated to Kew in 2004
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booksPhotographer snapped celebrities for 40 years - but it wasn’t all fun and games
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Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
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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