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16 killed in stampede for government jobs

Six paintings stolen in armed daylight raid on South African art museum

Three men posing as an art teacher and two students stole paintings worth about R17.5m (£1.2m) by some of South Africa's most celebrated artists off the walls of the Pretoria Art Museum in a brazen daytime robbery.

A Royal Flying Corps pilot adjusts his camera. Below: an aerial photo of German and British trenches

New European archive collects untold stories of the First World War

Thousands of moving war stories are being unearthed in a drive to gather a vast collection of First World War memorabilia from across Europe.

Otobong Nkanga: Multimedia visual artist from Nigeria whose work questions the role of African women. She will invite the visitor to “engage in a performance about the shifting states of objects and intangible things” when she presents Contained Measures, an installation in the Tate Modern’s new Tanks space

Tate Global: museum scours world for new art

The West can no longer claim to be the dominant force in modern art, the director of the Tate museums has declared, after announcing a major shift towards acquiring and exhibiting the best new work from Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

William Hague

William Hague and the £10,000, taxpayer-funded stuffed anaconda

Government budgets may be constricting all round Whitehall, but when it comes to the urgent matter of serpent taxidermy, cash can always be found.

Rhodri Marsden: Ideological and syntactical disaster – in a motorway services car park

Life on Marsden: The car was actively damaging the feminist cause just by being parked

Before Facebook, there was Manet, painting friends

The Impressionist was into social networking long before the dawn of the internet

Portfolio: Peter Lippmann

It's not unusual for Peter Lippmann to ruffle a few feathers. The fashion photographer has shot stilletos in smashed-up cars, cocktail rings on half-clean dinner plates and used, as you can plainly see here, live chickens to model luxury jewellery.

Room at the top for old V&A furniture

You may feel like you are window-shopping at Harrods or the Burlington Arcade when you step inside the slick new furniture gallery at London's Victoria & Albert Museum, which opens in December.

Click your heels together three times: Dorothy's ruby slippers come to London

The original ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (1939) will go on public display in Europe for the first time ever.

Chinese antiques theft gang jailed

Three members of a gang who stole millions of pounds worth of Chinese antiques from a museum in an act of 'cultural vandalism' have been jailed for six years each.

Orhan Pamuk

Peace at last for Turkey's enemy within

His books highlight the contradictions at the heart of Turkey. Orhan Pamuk, who has turned 60, talks to Shaun Walker

1. Edinburgh Zoo: Adult £15.50, child £11, edinburghzoo.org.uk - Home to the UK’s only giant pandas, this is the largest and most exciting wildlife attraction in Scotland.

The 10 Best city days out

Whether you fancy learning about the planets, pandas or the plague, Britain’s city’s offer great summer-holiday outings

All smiles at the US-Vietnam cleanup agreement

The terrible legacy of Agent Orange

Forty years after war ended, Washington begins decontamination of worst-affected areas in Vietnam

HMS Victory, the 1737 predecessor to Nelson’s flagship, was lost with all hands in 1744 in the English Channel. Armed with 100 bronze cannon, it was found in 2008, damaged by trawlers and still at risk

Scientist warns trawler damage to shipwrecks will result in an archaeological catastrophe

International action is urgently required to save the world's imperilled historic shipwrecks from the ravages of commercial fishing, experts have warned.

HMS Victory, the 1737 predecessor to Nelson’s flagship, was lost with all hands in 1744 in the English Channel. Armed with 100 bronze cannon, it was found in 2008, damaged by trawlers and still at risk

You're wrecking our wrecks! Experts warn of damage trawlers are doing to maritime history

Archaeologists want sunken vessels to be given the same levels of protection as threatened marine ecosystems

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'