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

Desmond Tutu has said he will no longer vote for the ruling African National Congress

Desmond Tutu’s editorial denounces the ANC

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, lifelong friend of former South African president Nelson Mandela and the man regarded by many as the nation’s voice of conscience, has said he will no longer vote for the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

One Minute With: Sarah Dunant, novelist

Where are you now and what can you see?

Cover image of Charles Moore's authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher, Not For Turning

Charles Moore lands first blow in battle to define Margaret Thatcher's legacy and destroy 'myths of the Left'

When Glenda Jackson excoriated Margaret Thatcher’s record in Parliament “to stop history being re-written”, she may well have had Charles Moore’s authorised biography in mind.

Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Ed Miliband all attended the emergency recall of Parliament

Furious Tories jeer as Labour MPs condemn impact of Margaret Thatcher's policies in Parliamentary 'tributes' session

A show of unity by the three main political parties over Margaret Thatcher since her death on Monday ended when Labour MPs launched strong attacks on her record during Commons tributes to her yesterday.

My life in travel: Richard Branson

'Memories are made when travelling, not when you're chained to a desk'

Sunderland sponsor silent over Paolo Di Canio appointment

Invest in Africa refuses to be drawn into debate

Milan’s Kevin-Prince Boateng gestures towards his abusers
Hero worship: Joost van der Westhuizen is feted at Ellis Park before a game against New Zealand last October

The Last Word: Springbok great, Joost van der Westhuizen, now tackles his biggest foe – paralysis

Joost van der Westhuizen is barely intelligible but extraordinarily expressive. He is physically diminished yet spiritually enriched. On this, rugby union's showpiece weekend in the northern hemisphere, he redefines notions of heroism and encourages his successors to pause and recalibrate.

Graca Michel, wife of Nelson Mandela, attends the memorial service of Mido Macia

'Society is grieving', over taxi driver who died in a South African jail cell

Hundreds of mourners gathered for a memorial service for Mido Macia, the Mozambican taxi driver who died in a South African cell after being dragged behind a police vehicle.

South African singer and civil rights activist Miriam Makeba celebrated in Google Doodle

The South African singer and civil rights activist Miriam Makeba has been celebrated in a Google Doodle on what would have been her 81st birthday.

Nelson Mandela's granddaughters Swati Dlamini (left) and Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway (right), who appear in the reality TV show Being Mandela

Keeping up with the Mandelas: Nelson's granddaughters star in new reality TV show 'Being Mandela'

Nelson Mandela's granddaughters star in a new show about "carrying on the family legacy while juggling motherhood in Johannesburg"

Our intrepid MBAs

MBA blog: A truly global business experience

Stepping off the plane in Johannesburg, I already had my flip flops on and was ready for a week-long vacation. I spent the previous few months on an academic exchange in cold Philadelphia, and was ready for sunshine.

Born to rule? Scientists uncover gene that may help create natural leaders

A gene has been uncovered that may help to create born leaders.

Scott Jamieson sqaunders five-shot advantage

Scotland's Scott Jamieson will not forget Durban in a hurry – but for all the wrong reasons. The 29-year-old from Glasgow narrowly missed out on earning his second win in the South African city in six weeks when Louis Oosthuizen, the home favourite, came from five shots back today to lift the Volvo Golf Champions.

Fireworks light up the sky above Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Paralympics last night in London

Olympic opening ceremony 'most inspiring' 2012 television moment

Danny Boyle's triumphant Olympic opening ceremony has been hailed as one of the most inspiring TV moments of all time second only to the moon landing, according to an audience survey.

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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
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas