Voices Mandela delivering his first public speech since his release from jail in Cape Town in 1990 - the same year Mandela visited Dublin

When asked if the IRA should be admitted to Northern Ireland talks without first ending its campaign of violence, Mandela fumbled his reply

Zimbabwe blocks UN expert

At the last minute, Zimbabwe yesterday blocked the United Nations' torture investigator from visiting the country where opponents to President Robert Mugabe have been attacked and harassed. But the investigator, Manfred Nowak, vowed to go anyway at the invitation of the Prime Minister.

Mark Steel: Just when you thought it was safe to come out again

This is what Blair does: he wrecks a place, then gets the job of uniting it

Zimbabwe cabinet to meet without MDC

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe will chair a weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday without members from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party, which boycotted the unity government last week, state media reported today.

Leading article: The merits of a strong opposition

It is to be hoped that the opposition gets more seats in today's elections in Botswana than in previous years. This is not because the incumbent, President Seretse Khama, is not a good thing. He runs perhaps the most politically and economically stable country in Africa – and took over mid-term, after being vice-president, in a smooth transition of power in a country where every election since independence has been deemed free and fair. He is one of the few African leaders to have spoken out against Robert Mugabe's state-sponsored violence in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwean court orders MDC official back to prison

A Zimbabwe court has ordered the prison detention of Roy Bennett, a senior official in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party, and ruled that he should stand trial on terrorism charges.

Mugabe calls for fresh start with West

President Robert Mugabe has called for a new start to relations with those Western countries he has spent years insulting for their criticism of his leadership.

Sholto Byrnes: Should Robert Mugabe be now forgiven his crimes?

Prosecuting one man can't remove the complicty of all the others

LonZim consider Zimbabwe listing

LonZim, the Aim-listed spin-off of pan-African conglomerate Lonrho, is mulling a secondary listing on the resurgent Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

Flower nurtures team spirit as results bloom

The quiet man behind England's success had the hardest job of all: bringing harmony and heart to a side once in disarray. Stephen Brenkley reports

Mugabe calls top US official 'an idiot'

President Robert Mugabe described the US assistant secretary of state for African affairs as "an idiot" after an acrimonious meeting between the two at an African summit in Libya, Zimbabwe's state media reported today.

MDC may quit over new powers for Mugabe

The troubled unity government of Zimbabwe is locked in a "make or break" battle over the constitution that could see the party of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai walk out.

Britain gives Zimbabwe extra aid but urges reform

Britain pledged an extra £5 million in aid to Zimbabwe Monday, hailing the "great signs of progress" since a unity government took office but urging more reform.

An Elegy for Easterly, by Petina Gappah

Memories of oppressing matters

'Tortured' activists set free in Zimbabwe trial

A human rights activist and 14 others were freed on bail yesterday after Zimbabwe's President and Prime Minister forced a judge to reverse her decision to send them back to the prison where they said they had been tortured.

Tsvangirai death crash may have been planned

A car crash which killed the wife of Zimbabwe's Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, may not have been accidental, according to preliminary reports.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up