AA strike is called off

The threat of AA patrol staff going on strike for the first time in the association's 105-year history has been lifted after new proposals were put forward to end a row over pensions.

Jailed opposition leader uses day in parliament to attack President

Sri Lanka's former army chief made a dramatic appearance before the country's parliament yesterday after being released from a military jail. The newly elected MP delivered a scathing speech in which he claimed the government was trying to block his "fight for democracy".

BNP support fueled by 'social breakdown, not immigration', report says



High levels of immigration into an area does not result in the local community supporting the British National Party, a report revealed today.

'You don't have to die before you're dead'

Acclaimed historian Tony Judt continues to produce books in spite of suffering from a condition that has left him paralysed from the neck down. He talks to Stephen Foley

Mustafa Sarigül: Liberal democracy can ensure that Turkey's best days lie ahead

We are truly at a turning point in Turkey's history. It is an opportunity to become a new Turkey, to shed outdated ideologies, reconfigure inefficient institutions and draft forward-looking laws appropriate to a strong 21st century democracy. The AKP (Justice and Development Party) has paved the way for this kind of reconstruction. They have completed the important task of demolition: they have torn down taboos and questioned old truths. But now it's time for a different team to build a new Turkey. What we need is firm, progressive leadership which can create a common, shared language for a society splintered by religion, ethnicity and gaps in income and opportunity. Turkey needs a new movement that can bring stability to politics and accelerate democratic development.

Aristocracy of the left turns out for Foot

Gordon Brown leads the tributes at the funeral of 'one of the greatest parliamentarians'

Leading article: The death of a great 20th century radical

Despite his political failures, Michael Foot's legacy is significant

Leading article: Ms Tymoshenko's unwise move

Almost a week after the presidential election, Ukraine's prime minister and disappointed candidate, Yulia Tymoshenko, has finally broken her silence, and not in a helpful way. Ms Tymoshenko, who might have had a chance of remaining prime minister under a new president, has decided instead to challenge the result in court. If she acts on this intention – and she is not known for graceful retreats – Ms Tymoshenko will be doing herself and her country a big disservice.

Why Socrates Died, By Robin Waterfield

The execution of Socrates in Athens in 399BC has given rise to almost as much post-mortem fury as the crucifixion of Jesus. In Socrates' case, the dialogues of his pupil Plato – more novels-of-ideas than faithful chronicles - have further skewed the record. Robin Waterfield's learned but fluent book takes a historian's hatchet to the myths.

Tweet democracy: Who are the best Westminster warblers?

The posters have been unveiled and the war of words has begun. But it's Twitter that will make this election unique. Rob Sharp rates the Westminster warblers

Talal Rajab: A small but significant victory for democracy

Amidst all the fanfare and controversy surrounding Nick Griffin’s appearance yesterday on Question Time, I firmly believe that the BBC was mainly vindicated in its decision to invite him on the show.

Leading article: Broken promises and democratic renewal

Supporters of electoral reform must make their voices heard

John Rentoul: The police against democracy

Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, advances some of the most pathetic arguments against democratic accountability for the police in an interview in The Independent today.

The English Rebel, By David Horspool

A fascinating look at the upshot of people power

Ben Chu: The real democratic outrage over the Lisbon Treaty

The conventional view on the re-running of the Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty is that it is a democratic disgrace.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas