Voices

When Maria Miller travels to Sochi next week, she must seize the opportunity to raise the issue of LGBT rights with Russian officials

Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks at his annual press conference in Moscow on 19 December 2013

Vladimir Putin: Gay people at Sochi Winter Olympics must 'leave children in peace'

The Russian president has told volunteers gay people can feel "at ease" but said they must leave children alone

A general view of the track as a Skeleton rider goes down the slope at the Sanki Sliding Center

Winter Olympics 2014: Six workers fall from roof at bobsleigh venue, confirm Sochi Games organisers

They were working at the Sanki Sliding Center when the snow went out from under them

(From left) Remington Chase, Gerard Butler and Stepan Martirosyan worked together on ‘Motor City’

LA confidential: The criminal backstory of Hollywood’s ‘biggest’ independent movie financiers

Remington Chase and Stepan Martirosyan have twin convictions for cocaine trafficking and went by aliases

Vladimir Zhirinovsky

Russian Lib Dem leader tells party members to have sex only four times a year

Vladimir Zhirinovsky also called for films showing smoking and drinking to be banned

Sergei Magnitsky died in a Moscow prison in 2009 after not being given access to medical treatment

Sergei Magnitsky - the final insult: Russia continues to 'desecrate the memory' of the whistleblower lawyer

First he was imprisoned. There he died after being denied medical treatment. Then he was put on posthumous trial. Now the Russian lawyer who dared to expose a £140m fraud is accused of perpetrating the crime himself

Sir Ian McKellen joined Nobel-winning chemist Sir Harry Kroto in formulating the demand

27 Nobel laureates join Sir Ian McKellen to protest over Russia's gay ‘propaganda’ ban

In an open letter to President Vladimir Putin and the Russian people given exclusively to The Independent, they speak out against homophobic legislation which activists say has led to violence and even suicides among gay people

MegaFon Installation for Sochi by Asif Khan

Sochi 2014 spectators to become the face of the Games on 'Mount Rushmore of the digital age'

London designer Asif Khan's "MegaFaces" to play a prominent part in the Winter Olympics

The trolleybus destroyed by a suicide bomb in Volgograd

Winter Olympics: Russia arrests five 'terror suspects' month before start of Sochi Games

Five terror suspects have been detained in one of Russia's North Caucasus provinces as the country's security agencies were scrambling to uproot any potential threat to the Sochi Games.

Ziferblat: Pay-per-minute café opens in London

Owner of Russian chain says he hopes café will encourage a more 'communal' experience

Hazel Irvine, Clare Balding and Jonathan Edwards will lead the BBC's Winter Olympics coverage

Clare Balding and Charles Dance lead BBC's digitally-enabled Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics coverage

Channel promises 'the most complete digital coverage of a Winter Olympic Games to date'

Theo Walcott lies injured on the pitch in Arsenal's FA Cup victory over Tottenham

Theo Walcott injury: Father thought Arsenal forward was 'joking' about six-month lay-off

The England international will miss the World Cup in Brazil

Geneva II: Iran not in first round of nations for UN Syria peace talks

Iran is not among the “first round” of nations invited to attend Syria peace talks in Switzerland later this month, a UN spokesman said.

Mexico confirms krokodil drug case was US patient

Health authorities say the 17-year-old is a resident of Houston, not Mexico

Maria Gavrilova reads with Arina Ochotnikova, 3, at the Azbuka Foundation Nursery in Richmond

Teaching in tongues: the bilingual pre-school tapping new potential

Introducing the first officially accredited Russian-speaking bilingual nursery in Britain

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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...