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

Surely the whole point of a quiz is its essential uselessness

Complaints have been made to the BBC that Barry Simmons shouldn’t be allowed to enter another quiz show because he is a ‘professional’

The Blagger's Guide To: Literature prizes

A recognition of excellence or a ticket to a funeral?

Mid-Ulster by-election: campaign eerily quiet as IRA murder victim's son faces alleged killer in polls

Most assumed it would be a by-election as bitter as any seen in Northern Ireland, not least because one candidate has been accused of involvement in the murder of the father of another.

'Dubious' care of the sick, 'questionable' politics and 'suspicious' finances: University claims Mother Teresa may not have been so saintly

Albanian-born nun was beatified by the Catholic Church in 2003, leaving her just one miracle away from sainthood

Biophysicist Francis Crick was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962

Family of scientist who discovered double-helix to sell his Nobel Prize

Six decades after Francis Crick helped identify the structure of DNA, the Nobel Prize he received for the discovery is going under the hammer. 

Album: Tomasz Stanko New York Quartet, Wislawa (ECM)

The familiar soulful meditations of Polish trumpeter Stanko lift this collaboration with three younger US musicians, including star drummer Gerald Cleaver.

Postcard from... Milan

Ask any Italian to name the most mafiosa city in Italy, and there’s a good chance they’ll say not Palermo or Naples … but Venice.

Postcard from... Beijing

Hong Kong’s most famous film star, the martial arts and comedy legend Jackie Chan, has been named a member of the Chinese government’s senior political advisory body.

My Secret Life: Kathy Lette, 54, novelist

'I regret turning Clooney down'

Manchester University awarded €1 billion to exploit discovery of 'wonder material' graphene

Researchers at Manchester University have been awarded €1 billion to exploit their discovery of the “wonder material” graphene.

Tombstone: The Untold Story of Mao's Great Famine, By Yang Jisheng, trans. Stacy Mosher and Guo Jian

This epic work of testimony and investigation lays bare a Communist crime of the century

Vladimir Sorokin, the Russian novelist and dramatist. His work was initially banned, though he is now very popular in Russia

Banned at home, lauded abroad: Vladimir Sorokin and Yan Lianke make Man Booker shortlist

Two authors who have had books banned in their own countries have been named on the shortlist of the Man Booker International Prize.

Levi-Montalcini: she attributed her success partly to ‘the habit of underestimating obstacles’

Rita Levi-Montalcini: Neuroscientist honoured for her work on cell development

Her experience of women’s subordinate role, she said, told her 'I was not cut out to be a wife'

15-year-old girl with missing moniker set to sue Icelandic government in fight to legally use her name

Parents who don't want to take a name from a government list have to apply to a special committee that has the power to say yes or no to the chosen name

Ready to kick butt: Dame Ann Leslie

The Week in Radio: Firecrackers, fur coats and some good news at last

"Are you looking for a job?" James Naughtie asked Dame Ann Leslie on Radio 4's Today, a note of panic in his voice. Now there's an idea. As one of the programme's guest editors, Leslie, the veteran foreign correspondent who famously went to war in a fur coat, arrived like a blast of cold air in a sticky sauna. You can imagine plenty of previous guests proffering feature ideas cobbled together by their agents, but not Leslie. She was first in the office, her sleeves rolled up and ready to kick some serious butt.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links