News Edward Snowden speaking during his dinner with a group of four retired US ex-intelligence workers and activists at a luxurious room in an unidentified location.

Former government contractor could join President Obama, Henry Kissinger and Nelson Mandela in historic list

Helen Zille (right), leader of the Democratic Alliance, is hugged by Mamphela Ramphele at the Cape Town conference

South Africa elections: Opposition parties unite to challenge ruling ANC

South Africa’s main opposition party has merged with a smaller group to jointly challenge the ruling ANC in elections in April.

Nelson Mandela statue: Sculptors told to remove bronze rabbit hidden in the ear

Government are now in discussions over how to remove the rabbit without damaging the statue of the anti-apartheid icon

Anthony Hilton: Pompous and smug, Davos has lost the plot

My Week We can expect the papers next week to be filled with musings from Davos, where the business and political elite are about to have their annual shindig in the Alps, so it was particularly satisfying on Thursday to record a piece for National Public Radio in the United States on why the whole gathering had long since lost the plot.

Simon Hughes says some view the criminal justice system as hostile

Simon Hughes: 'Legal profession must do more to reflect modern Britain'

Justice minister wants more female and ethnic minority barristers within 2 years

5 more important ways that Nick Griffin is bankrupt

The leader of the BNP Nick Griffin was yesterday declared bankrupt. He doesn't own a house, and has run out of money. But there are some other, probably more important things that the far-right politician lacks...

Mandela delivering his first public speech since his release from jail in Cape Town in 1990 - the same year Mandela visited Dublin

Time to remember Nelson Mandela’s soft touch with the IRA

When asked if the IRA should be admitted to Northern Ireland talks without first ending its campaign of violence, Mandela fumbled his reply

What will 2013 be remembered for?

We asked our columnists this question and here's what they had to say

West, who once referred to himself as the “number one rock star on the planet”, made the promise during the last leg of his Yeezus Tour

No more rants: Kanye West promises to take a vow of silence in 2014

West, who once referred to himself as the “number one rock star on the planet”, made the promise during the last leg of his Yeezus Tour

The Saturday Quiz answers

Here are the answers to this week's quiz...

That awkward moment when… You accidently confuse a real-life, living person with the Hollywood chap 20 years his junior that played him in a movie once.

Billboard confuses Nelson Mandela for Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman

New Delhi cloth merchant Chandrashekhar, who paid for the board out of his own pocket, said he didn’t know how the problem occurred

Locks changed on Nelson Mandela’s grandson Mandla Mandela's house as family feud boils over

The latest developments are part of a long-running feud between the two, both of whom have been jostling for position at head of the family

Paul Walker, iPhone 5s and 'Royal Baby' are Google Zeitgeist most searched for 2013

The annual report on the most popular news items and topics shows what the nation wanted to know in 2013

Mourners lining the roadside react as the cortège of former president Nelson Mandela passes through Mthatha on its way to his birthplace, Qunu, where he was to be buried today

Comrade Nelson Mandela is taken home to Qunu for the final time

Politics simmer as body of former president returns to birthplace

In brief: IOC set for anti-doping push

The International Olympic Committee has set up a $20m (£12m) anti-doping fund to boost detection methods and will hold an extraordinary session next year to push through changes for sports at the Olympic Games, its president, Thomas Bach, said today.

Xhosa women inside a house in the nearby village of Mvezo, where Mandela was born

Nelson Mandela burial: Qunu awaits final return of its most famous son

Amid the squabbles and chaotic preparations, residents speak of their pride in Mandela

Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
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people
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
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Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Travel
travel
Life and Style
The veteran poverty campaigner Sir Bob Geldof issues a stark challenge to emerging economies at the Melbourne HIV/Aids conference
health
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich talk Penguins of Madagascar at Comic-Con
comic-con 2014Cumberbatch fans banned from asking about Sherlock at Comic-Con
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Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
filmGuardians Of The Galaxy should have taken itself a bit more seriously, writes Geoffrey Macnab
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Sir Chris Hoy won six Olympic golds - in which four events?
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform