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.

Regency artist who lampooned politicians was on state payroll

The 18th-century artist Thomas Rowlandson, known for his savage mockeries of royalty and politics, was actually a paid-for propagandist, according to a new biography.

Getting Our Way, By Christopher Meyer

In Getting Our Way, Christopher Meyer, the former British ambassador to Washington, argues for a rejuvenated Foreign Office, based on a clear-eyed vision of the national interest. With some candour, he decries the "daft utopianism of global values" that has diminished the role of British diplomacy.

Communist Party elders call for free speech in China

A group of eminent Chinese Communist Party elders has issued a bold call to end the country's wide-ranging restrictions on free speech, just days after the government reacted angrily to the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo.

Somali PM resigns from split government

The Somali Prime Minister resigned yesterday, paying the price for the government's failure to rein in an Islamist insurgency that has killed thousands of civilians.

Power to the pictures: The evolution of propaganda

From ancient carvings to Norman tapestries, political portraits to public health posters, propaganda has taken man forms over the centuries. Holly Williams charts its evolution

Last Night's TV: Digging for Britain/BBC2<br />The King Is Dead/BBC3

We don't, says Dr Alice Roberts, the engaging host of Digging for Britain, know very much about the Anglo-Saxons. This is an immense relief to me. I can pretty much guarantee that I know less than most. In fact, I know virtually nothing: pre-modern history does, and probably always will, form an impenetrable black hole in my admittedly already pretty vacant brain. I'm not quite sure what it is: mention the Victorians and I'm all over it. But take me back to the fifth century and I back away like a rabbit in headlights. People then (at least this has always been my reasoning) were just so different. How can we possibly relate?

10-point plan for getting BA back in the sky

Never mind Acas: Simon Calder offers both sides a free consultation on how to settle this disastrous dispute

Fight The Power: Twenty Years of the Political Poster

A collection of propaganda-based art will be exhibited in June at Birmingham’s Custard Factory.

Seven children killed in Chinese school attack

Seven children and a teacher were hacked to death and at least 20 others injured today at a kindergarten in China's north-west Shaanxi province.

BNP goes upmarket to target white middle class

Legal defeat prompts far-right party to 'refocus its propaganda on a new front'

Second World War propaganda posters fetch &pound;15,000

A rare collection of Second World War propaganda posters sold for almost £15,000 when they went under the hammer today.

Simon Calder: A flight from reality as it gets difficult to discern fact from propaganda

The revenue from the passengers was negligible; their value was as a weapon

The truth about maps: How cartographers distort reality

As a fascinating new exhibition shows, it's not always what they put in that matters &ndash; but what they leave out

Errors & Omissions: Innocent words become casualties in the propaganda war

Hands up, all those who are anti-life. Thank you. Now those who are anti-choice. Thank you. Well, not many hands will have gone up; probably none.

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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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there