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.

Pakistan’s nuclear weapons mastermind AQ Khan denies advising North Korea and Iran

AQ Khan, the mastermind of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme, has denied any involvement in similar programmes in North Korea and Iran, insisting that the two states have acquired any knowledge in the field from Western sources.

<b>Sir Alex Ferguson</b><br/>
He came close to retirement in 2002 before having a change of heart. It proved a wise decision. While Manchester United's form was waning at the time, the wily Scot turned it around, made United the dominant force in England and lifted another Champions League trophy.
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With those achievements in the bank - now could be the opportune time to go. He's 68-years-old and is facing another team re-build after losing Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. And if the recent financial revelations surrounding Old Trafford are anything to go by - the necessary funds may not be forthcoming.
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Add to all this his regular referee rants and childish touchline behaviour, it might be wise to leave now with a reputation as one of the greats assured before he destroys it by becoming a cantankerous dinosaur of the game.

The worst tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson

No, it’s not Piers Morgan’s Twitter tirade. Sir Alex’s retirement from Manchester United today has brought plenty of fresh tributes to the most successful managerial career football has ever seen (and possibly ever, given the tumbling average tenure of most managers nowadays). But long before he decided to hang up his hairdryer, the ageing Scot has been beatified by fans around the world.

Look for Pooh

The Rohingyas are fall guys in Burma's race to harness chauvinism

Sittwe, the capital of Arakan state, is little more than a sleepy, dusty, overgrown village. Time appears to have stopped not long after the British left in 1948. Opposite the town’s golden zeydi, its Buddhist stupa, are the green-painted ruins of a mosque, but today there are few other obvious signs of last year’s violence. The great bulk of the town’s Muslim population has been banished to the outskirts: fishermen’s shacks and a sprawling camp where 7,000 men, women and children live under canvas.

The Dutch–British composer, John Ewbank, was forced to withdraw his work amid vitriol from tens of thousands of online protesters claiming the song sounded like North Korean propaganda.

Composer sounds the wrong note with official anthem for swearing-in of Holland’s future king

The Dutch–British composer of an official anthem intended for the swearing-in of Holland’s future king, Willem-Alexander, was forced to withdraw his work today amid vitriol from tens of thousands of online protesters and claims that the song sounded like North Korean propaganda.

1944: A civilian and a member of the French underground guerrilla band the Marquis exchange a greeting in the street after the Liberation of Paris.

The role of modern media in the liberation of Paris 1944

The author of Eleven Days in August remarks on the contrast between revolutions in the digital age and those decades ago. But some things haven't changed, says Matthew Cobb

Beyonce and Jay-Z's Cuba trip sparks questions over US trade embargo

The pair were greeted by big crowds as they strolled through Havana

China names Xi Jinping president, in only the country's second political succession since Communist Party took power

China's parliament formally elected heir-in-waiting Xi Jinping as the country's new president today, completing the country's second orderly political succession since the Communist Party took power in 1949.

Ben Affleck, star and director of Argo

Iran plans to sue Hollywood over 'unrealistic portrayal' of country in Argo

Iranian authorities are reported to be planning to sue Hollywood over the Oscar-winning Argo because of the film's allegedly "unrealistic portrayal" of the country.

The work of the dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has included installing one hundred million porcelain “seeds” in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, designing Beijing’s 2008 Olympic stadium and even producing photographs of himself giving the finger to China’s Forbidden City

Chinese democracy? Dissident artist Ai Weiwei makes heavy metal album

The work of the dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has included installing one hundred million porcelain “seeds” in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, designing Beijing’s 2008 Olympic stadium and even producing photographs of himself giving the finger to China’s Forbidden City. And now, he is adding a heavy metal album to his oeuvre.

According to German tabloid Bild, eccentric characters like Prince Philip have a lot to offer the continent

Whether it's Prince Harry and a ski slope, Prince Philip and a nurse, or Kate Middleton and Hilary Mantel, our monarchy doesn't bear much scrutiny

How a silly remark to a Filipino capped a busy week for the Royals' PR department

Even after his latest gaffe, silly Philip is the least of our problems

Modern monarchy, like any oxymoron, doesn’t bear too much looking into

Luyt in 1998 after resigning as head of South African rugby

Louis Luyt: Businessman and rugby union leader whose career was tarnished by controversy

Louis Luyt was best known as the boorishly fractious South African rugby boss who briefly won kudos for the Springboks' 1995 World Cup victory, but soon fell out with the rest of the rugby world, his own players and with Nelson Mandela. But his notoriety had been secured two decades earlier thanks to his role in the "Infogate" scandal.

A scene from Activision's 'Call of Duty'

North Korea’s trigger-happy TV moment

To the short list of things we know about North Korea, we can add this: someone there, possibly in government, is a fan of first-person shooters.

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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