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.

Leap of faith: Jessica Ennis-Hill continues her comeback from injury at the Anniversary Games in London

Jessica Ennis-Hill will 'return stronger' predicts Paula Radcliffe

The heptathlete has been ruled out of the World Championships in Moscow

Jessica Ennis-Hill

World Championships: Jessica Ennis-Hill 'gutted' after being ruled out of trip to Moscow

The Olympic champion ruled out due to Achilles injury

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's father considers FBI request for him to visit son in Moscow

Lonnie Snowden has told Russian TV that he needs to know what the FBI want him to do before flying out to see his son

Ennis-Hill competing in the long jump at last weekend's Anniversary Games

World Championships: Jessica Ennis-Hill's hopes lifted by Tatyana Chernova's withdrawal

Jessica Ennis-Hill's chances of winning heptathlon gold at the World Championships have been boosted by the defending champion, Tatyana Chernova, pulling out.

<p>Serpico, 1973</p>
<p>Known for playing characters on both sides of the law, Pacino's next big role was real-life police whistle-blower, Frank Serpico</p>

What makes a whistleblower? Bradley Manning follows in an illustrious tradition of truth-tellers

I spoke to five famous whistleblowers to learn what made them do it

Greg Rutherford added to British squad for World Championships in Moscow

The Olympic long jump champion must still prove his fitness

Jessica Ennis-Hill competes in the hurdles

Jessica Ennis-Hill faces agonising race against time to be fit for World Championships

Rutherford set to decide today if he will compete in Moscow but Farah reigns supreme

Leap of faith: Jessica Ennis-Hill continues her comeback from injury at the Anniversary Games in London

Battling Jessica Ennis-Hill is playing a waiting game

No repeat of Super Saturday for heptathlete, who must decide whether to go to Moscow

2013 Anniversary Games: Golden summer memories come crowding back at the Olympic Stadium

They started filing happily into their seats not long after four o'clock,  having made it past the clowns cavorting at the entrance gates – positioned perhaps in case anyone should be seen daring not to smile – and were still there six hours later, possibly wearied by the endless Britpop pumped around the stadium but still revelling in what was.

Jessica Ennis-Hill ready to hurdle into the unknown

Gold medallist’s return to scene of her greatest triumph is hampered by nagging Achilles injury

Edward Snowden claims he will face torture or the death penalty should he return to the US

US tells Russia: 'We won't torture Edward Snowden if he is extradited home'

Attorney General Eric Holder says the NSA whistleblower's claims of what he would face should he return to America are 'entirely without merit'

Jessica Ennis-Hill

Anniversary Games: Jessica Ennis-Hill set to take part at Olympic Stadium

The Olympic heptathlon winner returned to action earlier this week

Sergei Magnitsky died in custody after helping to expose a large tax scam

Russian police officer denies Kremlin is funding Sergei Magnitsky libel case in London

Lieutenant Colonel Pavel Karpov is suing British businessman William Browder for substantial damages

Jessica Ennis-Hill

Jessica Ennis-Hill to make comeback with low-key return in Loughborough

Heptathlete will take part in Loughborough European Athletics Permit meeting tonight

David Rudisha avenged defeat by Mohammad Aman in 2012

David Rudisha out until next year with knee injury

Olympic 800m champion and world record-holder David Rudisha will miss the remainder of the season and is unlikely to race again until at least March, the Kenyan athlete’s coach has said.

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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album