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Khodorkovsky’s release may well have been intended to further those goals by sending a positive signal about Russia's future business climate

A woman in Tehran shows off the ink print that shows she has voted

Obama warns of military strike as Iran goes to polls

President Barack Obama warned he should be taken seriously when he says he would consider military action to stop Iran getting a nuclear weapon.

Eric Joyce will not fight the election expected in 2015

Assault charge MP 'to stand down'

An MP suspended from the Labour Party after being charged with assault has said he will stand down from Parliament at the next general election, it was reported today.

UK's voice heard in EU, says David Cameron

Britain secured a number of key demands at the European Union to boost jobs and growth across the continent, Prime Minister David Cameron said today.

Our now misplaced 'Victory' front page

No ban on circus animals as Cameron acts as chief whip

David Cameron was last night accused of deploying "smoke and mirrors" to avoid imposing an immediate ban on wild animals in travelling circuses.

Johannesburg pensioners tune in

80 years of the BBC World Service

For eight decades it has brought a bit of Britain into the homes of listeners from America to Zanzibar. Peter Popham hears its birthday broadcast

Christopher Tappin claims he is a victim of entrapment on the part of the US authorities

Christopher Tappin makes first court appearance

British businessman Christopher Tappin has made his first appearance in court after being extradited to the US.

The 'Sunday Times' photographer Paul Conroy was successfully smuggled to Lebanon

Assad's revenge: rescue mission gets British photographer out alive – but 13 Syrians are killed in process

Confusion reigns as President Sarkozy claims wounded French reporter has been liberated from Homs as well, only to go back on his word later

Surge in complaints against banks over pension, insurance and mortgage deals

Tens of thousands of consumers have been forced to take their PPI claim to the ombudsman

Christopher Tappin and his wife at Heathrow today

Christopher Tappin extradition 'highlights problems'

The extradition of a British businessman has highlighted problems with the treaty between the UK and the United States which are not "readily curable", the Attorney General said today.

The Olympic rings displayed outside the Tower of London

London 2012 Olympics 'will be under budget'

The Government will confirm today that the £500 million contingency budget for the Olympic Games remains unspent, MPs have been told.

Government funds for film academy

The Government hopes to bolster the British film industry by setting up an academy to train the next generation of directors to follow in the footsteps of Danny Boyle and Tom Hooper.

Charm offensive: Prime Minister Julia Gillard poses with the colours of the Australian rules football team Western Bulldogs at the club’s family day in Melbourne

Gillard's victory settles question of who is the top dog

Bitter, divisive battle for leadership of Labor Party sees PM win out – for the time being

Lee Horscroft: 'The more I looked into it, the more beneficial it seemed to Rhys to leave my job and look after him myself'

Childcare in Britain: Parents paying an unsustainable price for care

Cuts and a postcode lottery exact a heavy toll

Fireworks explode over the Houses of Parliament

Plan to charge for Big Ben tours sparks ding-dong with MPs

Tourists are to be charged to climb the Big Ben clock tower for this first time in its 150-year history.

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick