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.
<br/>
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.
<br/>
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
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
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Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
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Flesh in Venice

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Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

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Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

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Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

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'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

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UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power