Voices

Like many men, I am a lazy, good-for-nothing, selfish, forgetful, patronising, sex-obsessed bastard who drinks too much. Or so my wife points out. It's strange that I have ended up like this. I tried not to. I really did.

'Gay propaganda' becomes illegal in Russia

“Gay propaganda” is now illegal in Russia after President Vladimir Putin signed a controversial bill into law today.

Russian police arrest gay rights activists at St. Petersburg rally

Russian police have arrested several gay rights activists and anti-gay rights demonstrators who confronted them at a rally in St. Petersburg.

Russia's anti-gay laws extended to foreigners

The Duma has unanimously approved a bill that will prevent gay foreign couples, as well as single people from countries where gay marriage is legal, from adopting Russian orphans. The law comes after Russia banned all adoptions by US citizens this year, in retaliation against US sanctions on certain Russian officials.

Kim Jong-il wrote a cinema manifesto

North Korean cinema: Kim Jong-il's movie mania

Kim Jong-il had 20,000 Hollywood DVDs – but then North Korea loves cinema, a fascinating new documentary reveals

Exhibition of the week: Propaganda: Power and Persuasion, British Library

Propaganda has become a dirty word but it remains a much-employed tool, as this provocative show proves. Posters, films, cartoons and tweets expose the mind-boggling ways in which states from over the world have tried to exercise their powers of persuasion in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Gay-rights activists kiss during a protest against the anti-gay bill in Moscow

Russia’s Duma waves through anti-gay law – by 436 votes to 0

Gay activists attacked and arrested for protesting against bill that will ban ‘homosexual propaganda’ aimed at young people

Russia’s parliament will debate a controversial law on Tuesday that could see people arrested for behaviour that is deemed to promote homosexuality

Russia set to pass strict anti-gay law that could see foreigners deported for 'sexual propaganda'

Russia’s parliament will debate a controversial law on Tuesday that could see people arrested for behaviour that is deemed to promote homosexuality.

Poster for 1950 film The White Haired Girl, a traditional story adapted to show how the lives of Chinese peasants were improved by the Communist Party

Exhibition review: Propaganda: Power and Persuasion (British Library, London)

The battle for hearts and minds, from Alexander to Chairman Mao, is quite hard on the eyes

Sibling rivalry: The public enemy (left) confronts his brother

The new version of Ibsen's Public Enemy is a drama where democracy doesn't win any votes

Plus: Propaganda's crowning moments at the British Library and the Chapman brothers first exhibition in China should go down well with local audiences

Paperbacks: Sweet Tooth, By Ian McEwan

To many younger readers, Ian McEwan's super-smart Cold War entertainment will function as a history lesson as much as a delicious box of story-telling tricks.

Public Service Broadcasting's Willgoose

Music review: Public Service Broadcasting, Village Underground, London

London’s East End makes a fitting location for a duo obsessed with 1940s heroics, as on their War Room EP, much of which they play tonight.

Book of a lifetime: An Artist of the Floating World, By Kazuo Ishiguro

The Booker Prize-winner The Remains of the Day is Kazuo Ishiguro's most famous novel, but An Artist of the Floating World is his one book that I re-read at least once a year.

Postcard from... Berlin

Russia homophobic murder: Two detained after man is beaten and tortured to death in anti-gay attack in Volgograd

Victim had been drinking with two men, who allegedly started beating him when he revealed he was gay

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The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
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footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
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Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
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Tulisa as a judge on the X Factor in 2012
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fashionClothes shop opens on Bill Clinton Boulevard in Pristina
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The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
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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
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone