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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

The Alastair Campbell Diaries, Volume 1: Prelude to Power by Alastair Campbell

Blood on the tracks to the summit

Steve Richards: The real purpose of public inquiries

There is a deceptive purity about them, the formality, the questioning of witnesses, the evidence-based conclusions. But the context of these acts is always multilayered

The Sketch: Democratic elections can leave you with a pretty mixed bag

The voting is complete, the chairs of the select committees are in. Perhaps Tony Blair was right and democracy really is "a universal human value", it's reached the House of Commons. The whips used to choose the composition of the committees, and the members then used to elect their chair, as juries do. Appointment was a power of patronage jealously held by the whips. Robin Cook tried to override it and failed – and so did Jack Straw. In the last days of the old government, a small number of crowd-pleasing changes were put through to "give power back to Parliament", and this was one. The results are, as you'd expect, a mixed bag.

MPs' summer break cut to 38 days

MPs will have their summer break cut to 38 days this year when the Commons sits in September for the first time since 2004, the Government announced today.

The battle to write the inside story of New Labour

Freed from the cares of office, party heavyweights are racing to get their version of the years in power into print

David Clark: What will nice Nick say to the arms dealers?

The neocon moment has passed, making Tory-Lib Dem agreement on foreign affairs easier. But key differences remain

John Rentoul: This can't be postponed until September

Gordon Brown's statement this afternoon contained a double surprise

Preserved: Britain's 'barrier reef'

Government scheme to protect ecology of Chagos Islands delights green movement, but exiled islanders will be kept away so that US can retain use of its airbase

Econoblog: Borrowing - not as bad as it might have been

The long and short of it is that Alistair Darling will have maybe another £15bn to splash around in next weeks Budget.

Brown on Iraq: I wasn’t at fault

Prime Minister at pains to distance himself from the errors and evasions of war

Steady Brown negotiates inquiry tightrope

For a man walking a tightrope, Gordon Brown looked remarkably steady.

The Sketch: The time to eat my hat is fast approaching

We scoffed, of course, because the plan was so unlikely to succeed

Polanski adds a bit of Hitchcock to the revival of Blair's ghost

Pierce Brosnan's performance carries chilling echoes of the former PM
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Actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyongío Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyongío and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a
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voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition