Arts and Entertainment

Sweetness and light among shame and confusion. The greatest of all novels is Leo Tolstoy's final novel, Resurrection. Its effect upon a reader is immense and immediate. Even after eight readings of various translations, I continue to feel its spell and admire its complexity.

Kalashnikov c. 1949, by which time his gun was standard issue for the Red Army

Mikhail Kalashnikov: Soviet general whose design for a cheap and reliable assault rifle transformed the nature of conflict round the world

With his stocky frame, and his general's uniform smothered with medals, Mikhail Kalashnikov looked the quintessential Soviet military veteran. But he was a veteran with a difference. For one thing he was a keen and lifelong poet. For another, having been badly wounded fighting the German invader around Bryansk in October 1941, early in what Russians still call the Great Patriotic War, he conceived what would become the most famous assault rifle in the world.

Mikhail Kalashnikov obituary: Man behind world’s most famous assault rifle dies aged 94

Soviet general whose design for a cheap and reliable assault rifle transformed the nature of conflict round the world

Members of the Native American Women Warriors march during the annual Veterans Day Parade in New York earlier this month

First people to colonise the Americas before Christopher Columbus are linked to Europe by new DNA discovery

DNA indicates that group of Siberians must have played a key role

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is protesting against “slave labour”

Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova moved to Siberian colony

First official confirmation of jailed Tolokonnikova's whereabouts is announced after she vanished from sight three weeks ago

Sergei Rumyantsev, 55, at hospital in Borogontsy

Armed only with a small knife and a loyal dog, man beats bear in Siberian forest

Sergei Rumyantsev, 55, stabbed the animal in heart after he was attacked

A scene from Fidelio by Beethoven

Classical Review: Fidelio, Coliseum, London

Fussy direction from Calixto Bieito, but magnificent singing from the cast

Jim Armitage: Are both these keen anglers telling whoppers?

Global Outlook Minsk's decision to hook Mr Baumgertner at the airport makes more sense of a bizarre little spat between Mr Lukashenko and Mr Putin last month.

'Anglia Square Not Leicester Square' is the slogan of a campaign trying to encourage producers to hold the premiere of the Alan Partridge film Alpha Papa in Norwich.

A-ha! Alan Partridge fans' plea to have 'Alpha Papa' film premiere in Norwich

“Anglia Square Not Leicester Square” is the slogan of a campaign trying to encourage producers to hold the premiere of the Alan Partridge film Alpha Papa in Norwich.

All of a twitcher! Rare Pacific swift sparks chaos in Trimley villages as hundreds of birdwatchers descend to catch a glimpse

Police were called to a nature reserve after hundreds of twitchers descended to catch a glimpse of a rare bird.

Russsian President Vladimir Putin speaks to the press after the annual call-in show on Russian television April

Vladimir Putin: Tycoon Boris Berezovsky asked for forgiveness in two handwritten letters

The Russian leader also denied that his new term has seen an increase in ‘Stalinist’ tendencies

Bonham's undated handout photo of 'Chinese Girl', the most famous work of Vladimir Tretchikoff, the Russian emigre who settled in South Africa.

The Chinese Girl sells for nearly £1 million

The original painting of the Chinese Girl, thought to be the most reproduced print in the world, was sold for nearly £1 million today.

The snappily named 2012 DA14 will miss earth by a mere 17,200 miles

2012 DA14: A close call for asteroid big enough to flatten London

An asteroid as big as an Olympic swimming pool has narrowly missed the Earth this evening, becoming the closest ever for an object of that size.

Pussy Riot member loses clemency bid

Maria Alekhina, one of the three members of the punk band Pussy Riot jailed over a stunt in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral last year, lost an appeal for clemency today.

Market Report: Morgan Stanley puts power into Punch

Punch Taverns jumped yesterday after it emerged that Morgan Stanley had hiked its stake in the troubled UK pub owner to 12 per cent. Against a backdrop of discussions with investors about restructuring the business, shares in Punch rose as much as 8.6 per cent in the morning as Morgan Stanley revealed it had increased its stake by 10 per cent to 76.5 million shares. They declined later but still ended up 1.9p, or 2.5 per cent, at 7.6p.

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam