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.

Witness, World Service, Tuesday
Darwin's Tunes, Radio 4, Wednesday

How to make friends by thawing the Ice Curtain

The coach Mano Menezes carries the hopes of a nation as Brazil go for their first football gold

Brazil target glory with eye on World Cup

Mano Menezes knows how important this afternoon's final is. His players will take on Mexico for the gold medal in the men's football at Wembley at 3pm.

Sir Bernard Lovell at the Jodrell Bank Observatory

Sir Bernard Lovell, pioneer of Jodrell Bank, dies at 98

Tributes to designer of legendary British telescope and 'inventor' of modern astronomy

Syria's first man in space flees to Turkey

Syria's first man in space has fled to Turkey and joined opposition forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad's regime, the latest in a string of high-ranking defections, Turkey's state-run news agency reported yesterday.

A Journey to Nowhere By Jean-Paul Kauffmann (trans. Euan Cameron)

A quest for one of Europe's vanished states brings close encounters with past and present

Michael Phelps today became the most decorated Olympian of all time

Michael Phelps makes history after becoming the most decorated Olympian of all time

Michael Phelps tonight became the most decorated Olympian of all-time after claiming a silver and a gold at the Aquatics Centre.

Yesterday’s match between Great Britain and Russia

Water fight! Tom Peck gets his first taste of water polo

Forget boxing – London 2012's most violent discipline is staged in the pool

Kiev Biennale of Contemporary Art, Mystetskyi Arsenal

Two things stand out at the first Kiev International Biennale: the superior video pieces on show and a range of intelligent, original works made by a selection of Ukrainian artists (22 in total, providing a prime nationalistic platform for this under-the-radar group).

Leading article: A chance to stand up to Putin

In November 2009, the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was beaten to death by guards after 358 days in "preventive custody" in Moscow. His offence had been to uncover a massive tax fraud scheme stretching high into the Russian government. The case became a cause célèbre, Exhibit A of the lawlessness and corruption that plagues the country's business life.

The most deadly avalanches in history

This is a factfile of some of the most deadly incidents in history:

Pakistan supply routes reopened

The first truck carrying supplies through Pakistan to US and Nato troops in neighbouring Afghanistan has crossed the border after a seven-month closure of supply routes by Pakistan ended.

Teargas used in Ukraine protests over language law

Police fired teargas and used batons to disperse hundreds of protesters in Kiev today after parliament voted to make Russian, rather than Ukrainian, the main language in schools and local government in some parts of the former Soviet republic.

<b>Mesut Ozil: </b> Frustrated at times as his tricks and flicks did not always come off. Nevertheless, Ozil displayed impressive vision and an ability to carve out goal-scoring opportunities for his team-mates. Will need to improve his performances if Germany are to go far in this tournament. 6

Germany braced for 'Debt Derby'

There was always likely to be awkwardness about whom the Germans would face in the quarter- finals. Many had

Simon Calder: Lazing on a sunny afternoon, Greek style

The man who pays his way

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tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
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Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter

EastEnders Christmas specials are known for their shouty, over-the-top soap drama but tonight the show has done itself proud thanks to Danny Dyer.

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Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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The Queen delivers her Christmas message
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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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there