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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links