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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Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity

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The author PD James, who died on 27 November 2014
people

Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94

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Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
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View of champagne glasses at a beach bar set up along the Croisette during the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes on May 17, 2013
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Sites using the popular Gigya comment platform were attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)

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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
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?