Arts and Entertainment Ellie Goulding has refused to sing at the Sochi Winter Olympics due to Russia's anti-gay laws

The singer turned down a request to sing at the Sochi opening ceremony

Editorial: A lesson from London's new In and Out Club

Pity Roberto Di Matteo. Having earned his confirmation five months ago, when he took Chelsea to victory in the Champions League, he learnt yesterday that long-termism has no place in Roman Abramovich's world view. He was out on his ear after a diminished team looked doomed to an early Champions League exit this season, the eighth manager to be found wanting in as many years.

Figures released confirm that Abramovich has converted another £166.6m owed to him into shares in the club

The winds of change are blowing at Chelsea with pace, but do the accounts add up?

One of the country's leading analysts of Uefa's Financial Fair Play regulations admits to being "puzzled" as to how Chelsea have managed to make a profit for the 12 months ending last June.

A Russian court yesterday sent a 36-year-old Muscovite to jail for four and a half years for his part in a protest rally against Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin

Anti-Putin protester jailed for four and a half years

A Russian court yesterday sent a 36-year-old Muscovite to jail for four and a half years for his part in a protest rally against Vladimir Putin's return to the Kremlin.

Vodka continutes to take its death toll on Russians

Putin wages war on vodka as lifestyle death toll at 90,000

Vladimir Putin is waging the biggest public health drive since former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev failed to wean his country off alcohol abuse with a crackdown on tobacco and drink.

An open letter to Private Eye

Our writer is the subject of the Hackwatch column in the latest edition of Private Eye, after attending a dinner of the Valdai Group. Here she responds to her critics

Ceasefire! It's a wedding

Firing off bullets into the sky has been a jubilant climax to thousands of weddings in Russia's remote areas - but now the custom is under threat, as armed guests venture closer to cities and stray bullets cause an increasing amount of mayhem.

Be on your toes when Putin enters the room

Our writer finds the Russian President sharp, focused and worth the wait at an annual discussion of Russia and its place in the world

Valdimir Putin

Putin says 'One could die' listening to 27-member EU's talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is pushing for the integration of former Soviet states modeled on the European Union, said Thursday "one could simply die" listening to "27 countries and 27 languages" in EU debates.

BP due to announce £17bn deal with Rosneft

BP could unveil a $28bn (£17bn) deal with the Russian state-controlled oil group Rosneft as early as today.

BP and Rosneft in talks to finalise details of £17bn Russian oil deal

BP could unveil a $28bn (£17bn) deal with the Russian state-controlled oil group Rosneft as early as today.

Moscow appeals court frees Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich but upholds sentences for Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina

A Moscow appeals court unexpectedly freed one jailed member of punk band Pussy Riot, but upheld the two-year prison sentences for the two other women jailed for an irreverent protest against President Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Putin: An exhibition in the President’s honour is called “Putin: The Most Kind-Hearted Man in the World”

Kremlin cranks up the propaganda for Putin's 60th birthday

Kremlin officials like to insist that the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, does not care for big birthday bashes and that he was to spend his 60th birthday yesterday quietly celebrating with close friends and family in his home city, St Petersburg.

A band supporter with a puppet that is their emblem

Voices within Russia join outcry over Pussy Riot sentence

Amid international condemnation of the two-year jail sentence that a Moscow court handed down to the punk trio Pussy Riot on Friday, critical voices within Russia are also growing. Several public figures regarded as close to the Kremlin have damned the verdict and complained about the effect it will have on Russia’s international image.

Leading article: A verdict on Vladimir Putin

In a chilling passage of the verdict read aloud in a Moscow court today, three members of punk group Pussy Riot were said to be "motivated by religious enmity and hatred". A reasonable response might be that those who have locked up these young singers for the crime of blasphemy in Vladimir Putin's Russia were motivated by religious bigotry and fear.

Russia set to arrest top corruption campaigner

Russian authorities are allegedly preparing to arrest Alexei Navalny, an anti-corruption blogger who became one of the key leaders of the street protests that have swelled in Russia in the past few months.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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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