News Cameron promised to pull the Conservatives out of the European People's Party because it is too pro-EU

David Cameron heads off to Russia on Thursday for the G20 summit of world leaders, promising that he is not going to shy away from tackling Vladimir Putin, pictured, about a couple of very serious differences between Russia’s regime and ours.

Passport: 'Everybody was pretty annoyed to find that I was alive'

My passports do not tend to live very long. They usually go rotten as a result of too much time spent in the jungle, and then somebody in some South American country refuses to handle it. I once had trouble leaving Papua New Guinea because my visa had been sucked off the page in the rainforest. It was just like a decomposing forest leaf joining the eco-system. At the time, in fact, I had been undergoing an initiation ceremony with a local tribe and I had acquired neat scars like crocodile bites all over my torso. In Papua New Guinea these are seen as seals of office, or badges of honour. In a way, I suppose, those scars were like my passport of the jungle. But I was too embarrassed to try to get out of the country with them.

Stretched to the limit

The child contortionists of the Mongolian State Circus start learning to stretch and bend their bodies as young as seven. They train six days a week, from early morning to late at night. If they are successful, they will perform around the world. The greatest challenge? To keep smiling. Photographs by Witold Krassowski. Words by Holde-Barbara Ulrich

Mongolian democrat butchered at home

ONE OF THE HEROES of Mongolia's 1990 peaceful democratic overthrow of Communism has been axed and knifed to death in Ulan Bator, in an apparent political killing. Two masked men broke into the home of Sanjaasuregiin Zorig, 36, on Friday night, tied up his wife and murdered the politician when he returned home.

Model behaviour: Marie Helvin

At 46, not only is she still looking good, she's still looking for that one big contract. Hell, she's got a Hawaiian ranch to buy. Interview by E Jane Dickson. Photographs by John Stoddart

Right of Reply: Richard Ayre

The Deputy Chief Executive of BBC News defends the Corporation against charges of recent technical problems

Cashmere war sweeps the steppes

SEVEN centuries after Genghis Khan swept across the grasslands on his steed, another Mongol, Jargalsaikhan, has switched to German horsepower in the battle against the Chinese. Two big Mercedes vans, fitted with beds for the drivers and TV to help pass those long evenings on the steppes, are parked outside his Buyan cashmere factory in Ulan Bator. They are his secret weapon in what might be called the "cashmere wars".

Frontline: Hatgal, Mongolia - Wasteland village saved by its women

Life is tough for Dolgin (above) and her neighbours (right) in Hatgal but the outlook is not all bleak

Mongolia reels from `shock therapy'

IN THE town called Moron, the locals live off their wits. Pitching their traditional "ger" tent on the nearby steppes of northern Mongolia, Dashumberel and his wife, Tsetsgee, are survivors of perhaps the most extreme economic shock therapy in the world. Both lost their state-salaried jobs when 70 years of Mongolian Communism collapsed in 1990 and their village co-operative was dissolved. So, like thousands of other Mongolians, this couple and their five children retreated to a nomadic way of life out on the grasslands, where winter temperatures drop to minus 35C.

Heirs of Genghis Khan ride the steppes again

A Week in the Life of TSENGAL, MONGOL HORSEMAN

Fishing lines; Indecent exposure for the fisherman with no face

A BASIC local-newspaper tenet dictates that every face sells a paper. That is why all weeklies, from the Stornoway Sentinel to the Cornish Clarion, delight in filling pages with the firing squad picture: a line of people facing camera, hands crossed in front of them as if they are about to face a free-kick from Stuart Pearce.

Fashion: space oddity

Hussein Chalayan's clothes challenge the viewer and delight the wearer. His spring collection, `Between', explores the relationship between space and light. Styling by Sophia Neophitou. Photographs by Mark Alesky

Review: How to square the slate circle

Richard Long

Travel: Literally lost: 16

The following excerpt has been taken from a classic work of travel literature. Readers are invited to tell us: a) where is the action taking place? b) who is the author? Blackwell's Bookshops will supply pounds 30-worth of book tokens each week to the first correct answer out of the hat. Answers on a postcard to: Literally Lost, 'Independent on Sunday', 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Usual Newspaper Publishing competition rules apply. Entries to arrive by Thursday 15 January.

Why are they famous?: Mandy Allwood

Main Claim: Tabloid-friendly, multiple-birth miracle gone spectacularly wrong. Latterly, established villainess and all-purpose micro-celebrity. Mandy Allwood, the perfectly ordinary 32 year old who attempted to give birth to eight babies in conjunction with a popular newspaper, is now back in the limelight for being pregnant with a sole infant. An everyday event, you might think. But this is Mandy Allwood. Hence the necessity for photographic sessions in denim skirt and red lipstick.

Explosion kills 61 miners

Battling with freezing temperatures and burdened by out-dated equipment, teams of rescue workers were last night digging through rubble in search of survivors from a massive explosion in a Siberian coal mine which claimed at least 61 lives.
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Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

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Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin