Travel Passengers dine in the restaurant car of the Red Arrow to St Petersburg

For 150 years the railway line between Moscow and St Petersburg ran as straight as an arrow for 403 miles. Straight, but for one big bend near Novgorod. The story goes that Tsar Nicholas was so fed up of officials dithering over the route that he plonked a ruler on the map and drew a straight line between the two cities, accidentally drawing around his finger in the process. Too terrified to point out his error, the builders constructed the railway with the Tsar's bump in place.

Jessica Ennis in action at the Olympic Stadium

Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis to return to Olympic Stadium as it hosts the British Athletics London Grand Prix

Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis will be back in the Olympic Stadium, on the anniversary of the Olympics Opening Ceremony, which is to host a Diamond League Athletics Grand Prix.

Sergei Magnitsky: The Russian lawyer, who uncovered the fraud, died in prison in 2009

Lithuanian prosecutors open investigation into multi-million dollar tax fraud by Russian organised crime group

Prosecutors in Lithuania have opened an investigation into a multi-million dollar tax fraud carried out by a Russian organised crime group which used the Baltic nation’s banks to launder some of their money.

Mo Farah is playing catch-up after taking an extended post-Olympics break: 'I am not in terrible shape but I am behind my training partner'

I'm playing catch-Rupp in training, admits Mo Farah

Mo Farah admits he is playing catch-up after taking an extended post-Olympics break. "I am not in terrible shape but I am behind my training partner – a month and bit behind him," the 5,000 metres and 10,000m gold medal winner confessed.

Aslan Usoyan survived an attempt on his life in 2010; a sniper’s bullet killed him

The death of Moscow's Don: Aslan Usoyan gunned down outside his favourite restaurant

Shooting of crime boss has stoked fears of gangland reprisals

Visas – an expensive and time-consuming necessity for a trip to Moscow

Q. On a whim I booked two cheap flights to Moscow in June for me and my 11-year-old daughter. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but since booking I have looked into obtaining visas and it seems like a minefield of red tape. Can you help? Matt Denby, West Yorkshire

Video emerges capturing moment car is hit by wheel of crashing Russian jet in accident that killed four people

Investigators are examining flight recorders and other evidence to try to determine the cause of a plane crash in Moscow that left four people dead

Sergei Magnitsky’s mother, Nataliya Magnitskaya, grieves for her son in 2009

Prosecutors drop charges in Magnitsky killing to leave family at square one

Relatives fear they will never know the truth about anti-corruption lawyer's death in police custody

Gennady Fedosov: Diplomat who promoted friendship with the West

Many people in the arts, commercial, political and sporting life of London will not have forgotten the witty, charming and erudite Gennady Fedosov, who was the Soviet Union’s minister for cultural Affairs in the Soviet Embassy in London. During a fraught period of the relationship between Britain and Russia, Fedosov was a beacon of friendship and understanding.

The NBC television crew were held by a militia group loyal to President Assad

Kidnapped journalists escape during firefight in Syria

Richard Engel, the chief foreign correspondent for the US network NBC, told yesterday how he and his television crew were kidnapped for five days by Syrian pro-regime gunmen who subjected them to mock executions and kept them bound and blindfolded.

Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov is said to have arranged the killing of Anna Politkovskaya at her Moscow flat

Murdered Russian journalist's son seeks 'open trial' of former policeman

The family of a murdered journalist expressed cynicism as the trial of a former police officer implicated in her killing began in Moscow.

Postcard from... Delhi

Spend two days in Delhi, India's capital and the second biggest city in the country, and your snot will be black.

Postcard from... Moscow

In recent decades, many cities have made the transition from industrial to post-industrial, with power stations and factories converted into loft accommodation or cultural centres. Moscow is unique in the number of industrial zones that remain within the city – there are 209 functioning industrial areas inside the city bounds, some of which are right in the centre.

Last count: Cubans at a Mayan ritual last week

Doomsayers await the end of the world – on 21/12/12

But governments try to reassure their citizens not to panic

Sergei Magnitsky, the lawyer
who died in a Russian jail
after investigating fraud

Magnitsky affair row grows as Russia threatens to reveal banned US officials

Moscow retaliates to new US law with its own blacklist of Americans accused of rights abuses

Key players in the Magnitsky case

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...