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.

Riders warm up on the 56km of Siberian pine that make up the velodrome’s track yesterday

Olympic Velodrome proves up to speed on opening day

The first person to ride around the Velodrome, one of the Olympic Park's signature constructions with its sweeping roof and wood-panelled exterior, was appropriately enough Sir Chris Hoy. The second, slightly less appropriately, was Boris Johnson. That was nearly two years ago, which only goes to show how far ahead of the game the entire project has been.

Set sail: BeWILDerwood Adventure Park in Norfolk
Sheets of ice on the River Oder near Frankfurt

BMW in hot water over naming cold front

It sounded like a brilliant marketing move by BMW: pay to have the name of its Mini Cooper Roadster associated with the cold snap currently engulfing Europe and everyone would be talking about it. But the car manufacturer is regretting the decision after the freezing weather was blamed for the deaths of more than 70 people.

Sheets of ice on the River Oder near Frankfurt

It's a Mini disaster! BMW sponsors deadly cold front

Car firm pays to name weather system after new model – then sees it kill scores across Europe

The oligarch, Oleg Deripaska: The Russian aluminium tycoon, who has an estimated £6.5bn fortune, is the centre of the story, with claims Rothschild tried to 'impress' him by bringing Mandelson to the dinner. Deripaska provided the jet which took Mandelson and Rothschild to Siberia

The billionaire, the banker – and a bit of birch-thrashing

A libel case is shedding light on the secretive world inhabited by the super-rich – and Lord Mandelson. Jerome Taylor reports

The mohawked Neymar is proving to be a paparazzi dream in Brazil

Pioneers head east in game's latest gold rush as football opens up final frontiers

From Siberia and the Middle East to China, Rory Smith follows the trail of vast fortunes

Vast methane 'plumes' seen in Arctic ocean as sea ice retreats

Russian research team astonished after finding 'fountains' of methane bubbling to surface

Blast off to spacestation

Two Russians and an American blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan yesterday to return a full crew to the International Space Station.

Video: Kim Jong-il in Siberia

The North Korean leader backs down over nuclear tests on a trip to Siberia.

Woolly mammoth calf fossil? No, just a wayward walrus

There was more than a ripple of excitement in the scientific community yesterday as news spread that a reindeer herder in an isolated part of northern Siberia had found a perfectly preserved, fossilised woolly mammoth calf.

The Tiger, By John Vaillant

A nature writer living in Vancouver, Vaillant crossed the Pacific to study the trail of havoc and death left in winter 1997 by one of the 450 or so Siberian – or Amur - tigers still wild in the "boreal jungle" of Russia's lawless Far East.

12 injured in Russian airliner's crash landing

Russian emergency officials say a Russian plane has crash-landed near the border with China, injuring 12 people.

Zapadnaya seeks listing on UK stock exchange

An eastern Siberian gold mining company is the latest resources firm from the former Soviet Union looking for a chunky listing on the London Stock Exchange.

The strange case of Mr Putin and the disappearing carpet of turf

Bloggers in a provincial Russian town are investigating what happened to hundreds of strips of turf used to spruce up the town centre before a visit from the Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, which disappeared almost as soon as he left.

Khodorkovsky theft conviction upheld

Moscow's top court has rejected Mikhail Khodorkovsky's appeal against his conviction for theft and money laundering, condemning Russia's former richest man to another five years behind bars.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living