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A liver transplant patient turned up to her operation appointment at a German hospital with a bottle of vodka in her bag, a court has heard.

David Irving: 'Hitler appointed me his biographer'

Hitler wasn’t anti-Semitic, and the Holocaust wasn’t his fault - David Irving’s take on Nazi Germany has made him many enemies. Johann Hari meets an unapologetic apologist

Letters: The former East Germany

Unjust vilification of the former East Germany

Europe by rail: The romance of the railway

From London St Pancras, Anthony Lambert sets off on a grand tour around Europe, enjoying Art Nouveau in Antwerp, monumental Milan and the French Alps along the way

Robert Fisk: My days in Fleet Street's Lubyanka

Our readers' demands for an idealised Britain were met with a diet of dolly birds

Bellotto, Bernardo : The Ruins of the Old Kreuzkirche in Dresden (1765)

How does art make mess? The composer Harrison Birtwistle once compared his methods with those of the painter Francis Bacon. If painters want to introduce some chaos or disorder into their work, they can simply, physically, mess things about. They can (like Bacon) fling a handful of paint at the canvas, or attack the surface with a sponge or rag or broom, or even get someone else to do it for them. But with composers, Birtwistle said, it's different. If they want to put disorder into their music, they have to write out every note of it. They can't just make a mess. They have to make it up.

Bellotto, Bernardo: The Ruins of the Old Kreuzkirche in Dresden (1765)

The Independent's Great Art series

Israel arrests 'militant who killed 78'

Israeli security forces have arrested a leading Hamas militant said by the army to have been sought since 1988 for carrying out attacks which claimed the lives of 78 civilians and soldiers.

CLASSICAL: CLASSICAL CHOICE

A Leipzig Soiree

The teenager who (almost) crossed the Berlin Wall

First-time author Anna Funder has won Britain's richest literary prize for non-fiction with 'Stasiland', her study of East Germany's police state. In this extract, she tells the story behind one attempt to escape

Die Schweigsame Frau, Garsington Opera Festival, Oxford

Marriage à la Strauss
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In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible