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

Mikhail Kalashnikov posing with the first model of his legendary AK-47

Kalsahnikov to the cubicle: 6 inventions that should have stayed in the box

Inventions may change the world, but not all count as progress, and several inventors have later come to regret their bright idea.

The News Matrix: Tuesday 14 January 2014

UK yet to harness full female potential

Mikhail Kalashnikov posing with the first model of his legendary AK-47

Revealed: The dying remorse of Mikhail Kalashnikov, the man who made 100m rifles

He always said he had no regrets about inventing the AK-47. But in the days before his death he may have had a change of heart

The Large Hadron Collider

Large Hadron Collider revamp promises massive power boost for fresh experiments

Work will allow it to perform the highest energy particle collisions ever attempted

More than 50 senior scientists from 14 countries are denouncing claims that the ferret experiments are necessary for the development of new flu vaccines and anti-viral drugs

'Untrue statements' anger over work to make H5N1 bird-flu virus MORE dangerous to humans

Coalition of leading scientists claim ferret experiments could lead to a pandemic

Murder mystery in reverse: Dame Judi Dench reads The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark

Are you listening carefully? Audio books for Christmas

There are rich pickings to be harvested from this year’s crop. Jim Crace’s unforgettable Harvest (Whole Story, 7 CDs, £20.41) is a book begging to be read aloud. Had the Booker judges listened to John Keating reading it, they’d have given it the prize unanimously. The story of a pre-lapsarian village facing the end of centuries  of agrarian life is written in blunt and sturdy language that moves seamlessly between Old English accented alliteration and flights of superb iambic pentameter. “Caught between a nettle and a thorn”, the helpless narrator watches as monetary greed and a flagrant injustice destroys a community and creates an avoidable refugee crisis, whose contemporary relevance is unmistakable. It is a work of genius.

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

Bogus interpreter at Nelson Mandela memorial was unlikely to have been vetted

Thamsanqa Jantjie said he may have suffered a schizophrenic episode, and that there was ‘nothing he could do’ when he started hearing voices and hallucinating

The body of Nelson Mandela is transported to the Union Buildings where it is lying in state for three days

The death of Nelson Mandela: A last chance to offer last respects for Madiba

They came and waited patiently in their thousands for a momentary glimpse of their hero, passing the time with songs and stories about the leader who changed their lives. Andrew Buncombe joined the queue in Pretoria

Jacob Zuma was greeted with hostility in Soweto

Nelson Mandela memorial: The booing of Jacob Zuma shows that divisions still remain

In front of leaders from around the world, South Africa’s current President was derided as Nelson Mandela was honoured

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2013 Randy W Schekman poses with his medal

New Nobel laureate Randy Schekman hits out at academic publishers over their publication of only the 'flashiest' research

Big name journals don’t serve the interests of science, biologist says

Nelson Mandela memorial: South Africans join world leaders for 'biggest funeral send-off in decades'

As people poured in to take their seats, a party atmosphere took hold

World Cup 2014 draw: Fifa pay tribute to Nelson Mandela during ceremony

The former president of South Africa made a memorable appearance at the last World Cup

Carlos Juan Finlay: Physician's 180th birthday marked with Google Doodle

The Cuban physician Carlos J Finlay has been honoured with a Google Doodle on the 180th anniversary of his birth.

Morrissey slammed Barack Obama for eating turkey this week

War of words breaks out in Norway over Morrissey’s Nobel Peace gig as singer unforgiven for comparing Anders Behring Breivik massacre to killing animals for fast food

People have not forgotten his words after the far-right extremist killed 77 people in Oslo and on Utoya Island

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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
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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'