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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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee