Arts and Entertainment

One of the most brutal battles of the Second World War was the Nazi offensive against Stalingrad where atrocities were committed on both sides and the soldiers also had to contend with starvation and freezing conditions during a lengthy siege.

Russia homophobic murder: Two detained after man is beaten and tortured to death in anti-gay attack in Volgograd

Victim had been drinking with two men, who allegedly started beating him when he revealed he was gay

More women have come forward to say they've been abused by Stuart Hall

Top human rights barrister sparks outrage with call for age of consent to be lowered to 13

Barbara Hewson made the controversial suggestion in an article for the online magazine 'Spiked'

Alexander Lebedev appears in court over punching property tycoon Sergei Polonsky on Russian television show

Alexander Lebedev, the Russian businessman whose family owns The Independent, appeared in a Moscow courtroom today to hear charges read against him that could land him in prison for up to five years.

Great Leader’ Kim Il-sung looks down on the Tumen bridge

Trading places: the decline of North Korea

Where once China bought electricity from its neighbour, now it sells used clothing. Clifford Coonan reports from Tumen

Soviet soldier tells why he defected to Afghanistan

A former Soviet soldier presumed dead for 33 years has spoken of how he embraced Islam and turned his gun on his countrymen after he was shot, left for dead by his unit, and nursed back to health in a remote Afghan village.

Review: Wolfhound Century, By Peter Higgins

A detective on the side of the angels

A snowmobile is the ideal way to reach Barentsburg in winter

Barentsburg: chilly invite to a land frozen in time

Barentsburg in the Svalbard archipelago is a curious Soviet relic best explored by snowmobile, says Chris Leadbeater

British soldiers in Afghanistan are fighting an 'unwinnable' war

MoD admits campaign in Afghanistan is 'an unwinnable war'

British soldiers fighting in Afghanistan are part of a campaign that attempted to “impose an ideology foreign to the Afghan people” and was “unwinnable in military terms”, according to a damning report by the Ministry of Defence.

Ukrainian navy loses three 'killer' dolphins

The navy has reportedly lost three of its carefully trained “killer” dolphins. The defence ministry has denied the reports and refused to confirm that its navy uses dolphins, but the loss has been widely reported in the country, and former naval officers said dolphins often went missing during exercises to look for mates.

'Attack on rights': Mikhail Gorbachev denounces Vladimir Putin’s new laws

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has condemned Kremlin-backed laws passed in Russia as an “attack on the rights of citizens”.

Russian soldier 'missing in action' for 30 years found in Afghanistan

A former Soviet soldier who went missing more than three decades ago during Moscow’s ill-fated invasion of Afghanistan has been found alive and well near the city of Herat.

Two Inces: Manager Paul is introduced to the crowd,left, and Tom shows his skill, right

Match Report: Paul Ince pleased with return to the family business

Blackpool 0 Leicester City 0

Activist calls for new broom at antiques dealer Mallett

Activist investor Peter Gyllenhammar is preparing to overhaul Mallett, the 148-year-old London antiques dealer.

Kim Jong-un

Alarm at North Korea's nuclear threat - but the regime may fall from within

The Drip's previous engagement with North Korea's Kim Jong Un has been to wonder at the boy-dictator's good looks. Now there's more serious matters afoot. A leader in this week's Economist raises concern that Mr Kim may be ready to host a nuclear test - and has been prophesying future war. Like father, like son.

Kravchuk, Shushkevich and Yeltsin sign the agreement

Reds not dead? Document that dissolved the Soviet Union goes missing

The historic document that heralded the collapse of the Soviet Union has gone missing from an archive in Belarus, according to one of its signatories.

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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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
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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