Thomas Hitzlsperger with the Germany team

Thomas Hitzlsperger gay: The reaction in Germany after former Aston Villa player comes out

The former midfielder, who was capped 52 times by Germany, has received widespread support

Northern Ireland peace process talks end in stalemate after last-ditch overnight negotiations fail to meet end-of-year deadline

No consensus reached on final set of proposals to deal with flags, disputed parades and the legacy of the Troubles

Charlotte Britz, mayor of Saarbrucken

Europe’s biggest brothel: it will cost €4.5m and will boast 90 prostitutes

Tony Paterson finds out if it really is easier to open a brothel than a chip shop in Saarbrücken

German 'grand coalition': Angela Merkel reaches deal with SPD to form new government

Tricky hurdle remains for Merkel as Social Democrats must get approval of 470,000 members before she can be sworn in

The Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, denies that he is trying to gag the press

Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant

State secrecy law carrying threat of 10-year jail term criticised as attack on democracy but PM denies trying to gag press

Father Alec Reid;

Fr Alec Reid, priest who brokered peace in Northern Ireland, dies

Tributes paid to Father Alec Reid, trusted go-between of both the IRA  and British Government

Sir Bernard Ingham accused campaigners of hypocrisy

Bernard Ingham says Northerners who loathe the Tories are ‘demented’. Perhaps I can put him straight...

Slashing the welfare state and cutting taxes on the wealthy was never going to play well

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness is reduced to tears at the club's annual general meeting

Amid the Bayern Munich celebrations after a remarkable year, Uli Hoeness is reduced to tears over his ongoing tax scandal

The president of the treble winners has been overwhelmed with the solidarity the club has displayed

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Ed Balls steamed up after presenting David Cameron with a perfect birthday gift

It all started so amiably. Not only did Ed Miliband wish David Cameron a happy birthday, but both men fell over themselves to congratulate Professor Peter Higgs of boson fame for winning a Nobel Prize. And then, to borrow a term from Prof Higgs’ branch of physics, it all reverted to the Standard Model of PM’s Questions: half-truths, dodgy statistics and old quotes to show your adversary once thought the opposite of what he says now.

Rooney Mara in 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'

Unpublished Stieg Larsson story to be included in new anthology of Scandinavian noir fiction

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo author, who died in 2004, penned A Darker Shade when he was just 17 years old

Ireland reunified – in its passports at least, which include a map of whole island

The new Irish passport includes verses in Ulster Scots as well as a map of the entire island for the first time.

Sigmar Gabriel has anoounced

Germany Elections: Social Democratic Party to open coalition talks with Angela Merkel

Merkel's Christan Democratic Union needs a new junior partner after its last partner dropped out of parliament entirely

Angela Merkel’s in-tray: Greece, austerity and banking union

German voters have spoken and put the veteran Chancellor in pole position to form the next coalition government of the eurozone’s dominant economy. Ben Chu examines the  decisions and dilemmas facing Angela Merkel in the wake of her party’s Bundestag victory

Angela Merkel in fight to win new term as Germany goes to the polls

Angela Merkel is in a fight to clinch a new term for her ruling coalition despite enjoying overwhelming popularity and leading an economy that is the envy of Europe.

Tough talking as new Norwegian PM tries to form government

Erna Solberg, who is poised to become Prime Minister after the Labour premier conceded defeat in an election, faces tough negotiations with three other right-wing parties to form a government. 

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News
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
newsBumping fists rather than shaking hands could reduce the spread of infectious diseases, it is claimed
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
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newsHad asteroid hit earlier or later in history, the creatures might have survived, say scientists
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
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Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried