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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'