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.

Blaze at psychiatric hospital near Moscow leaves 38 dead

A fire at a psychiatric hospital outside Moscow killed 38 people early this morning, many of them patients who burned to death while under heavy sedation.

Anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny: Fraud case is ‘political revenge’

The opposition leader Alexei Navalny gave a grand-standing speech in his opening remarks to the provincial court trying him on embezzlement charges. Mr Navalny, an anti-corruption blogger who led street protests against President Vladimir Putin, dismissed the case as “political revenge”.

Boston Marathon bombing: Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have met Dagestan rebels

As US investigators attempt to piece together the motivations and allegiances that led Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to bomb the Boston Marathon, attention is turning to the six-month stint that Tamerlan spent in southern Russia in early 2012. He stayed with his father in Makhachkala, capital of Dagestan, the mountainous republic in southern Russia that borders the family’s ancestral homeland, Chechnya.

Ennis: 'I will never forget the noise'

Jessica Ennis leads golden return to Olympic Stadium for Anniversary Games

Gold medal winners from 'Super Saturday' will all be in action

Postcard from... Moscow

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

US risks angering Russia by publishing blacklist

Diplomatic friction as Washington names Russian officials banned over Magnitsky affair

Chelsea player Ryan Bertrand
Ashley Cole

Rafael Benitez 'feeling good' over injuries to Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole

Pair expected to miss Europa League tie on Thursday

Former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler cancels Russian gigs over country's 'human rights crackdown'

Mark Knopfler has cancelled two shows in Russia in protest over what he says is a crackdown on human rights groups in the country.

A graffiti with a sign reading

'Russian Banksy' Pasha P183 dies aged 29

A prominent Russian graffiti artist who hid his identity behind the tag Pasha P183 and has been compared to Britain's Banksy has died aged just 29.

Pietro Mennea pictured in 1978

Former 200-metre world record holder Pietro Mennea dies

The Italian held the record for 17 years

Rafael Benitez takes a Chelsea training session

Rubin Kazan switch Europa League tie against Chelsea to Moscow

The move will make the tie closer to London

Russia drops inquiry into death of Sergei Magnitsky

Investigators have dropped an inquiry  into the death in jail of Sergei Magnitsky, stating that the whistleblowing lawyer’s agonising death, which became an international scandal, was not the result of malpractice.

Wealthy Russian expats in Cyprus face added pressure from home

One thing wealthy Russians will have learned this weekend is that when a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That is now certainly the case for those who have invested heavily in Cyprus, where the 10,000-strong Russian community is thought to have as much as €35bn in deposit accounts.

Usain Bolt got the better of Yohan Blake over both 100 and 200 metres in London

Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake back together in Jamaica relay team

Usain Bolt will run in the same 4 x 100m relay team as Yohan Blake at the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava in the Czech Republic on 27 June.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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No postcode? No vote

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Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor