Voices

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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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee