Travel Passengers dine in the restaurant car of the Red Arrow to St Petersburg

For 150 years the railway line between Moscow and St Petersburg ran as straight as an arrow for 403 miles. Straight, but for one big bend near Novgorod. The story goes that Tsar Nicholas was so fed up of officials dithering over the route that he plonked a ruler on the map and drew a straight line between the two cities, accidentally drawing around his finger in the process. Too terrified to point out his error, the builders constructed the railway with the Tsar's bump in place.

5 ways to... follow Dalí

From Catalonia via Paris to the shores of Florida

Book review: 'One Another' by Alisa Resnik

The winner of this year’s European Publishers Award for Photography is Alisa Resnik for her project One Another. The winning book is published simultaneously in five editions, in five languages.

One of the cylinders of the final Megatons-to-Megawatts shipment, on its way to the uranium plant in Paducah

How America uses Russian warheads to heat its homes

For 10 years shipments of uranium have been quietly changing hands

Freelance videographer Kieron Bryan (second left) with Greenpeace activists, Anthony Perrett (left), Alexandra Harris, Iain Rogers and Phil Ball (right), as they arrive at St Pancras Station, London, after being detained in Russia as part of the so-called 'Arctic 30'

Five British members of the 'Arctic 30' return to Britain and vow to continue the campaign

Greenpeace campaigners were greeted by jubilant friends and family at St Pancras Station on Friday night

Greenpeace International activist Mannes Ubels from the Netherlands jumps for joy holding his passport outside of the offices of the Federal Migration Service Department in St. Petersburg after receiving a Russian transit visa

Arctic 30 heading home after being cleared under Putin amnesty

30 Greenpeace activists detained in September will have left the country by the end of the weekend after having their charges dropped and being issued transit visas

26 members of the so-called 'Arctic 30' pictured at the beginning of December

Russia formally drops criminal charges against Arctic 30 Greenpeace activists

The protesters and two freelance journalists, including six Britons - were arrested after Russian authorities boarded their ship, the Arctic Sunrise, during an anti-drilling demonstration in September

Fortune's Fool at the Old Vic
Alex Harris was one of the first 'Arctic 30' detainees to be granted bail

Arctic 30: Russia 'defies international ruling' and tells protesters they cannot leave

The Russian authorities have told a group of Greenpeace activists and freelance journalists arrested during a protest against oil drilling in the Arctic that they cannot leave the country.

Police officers detain a gay rights activist during an unauthorized protest - Irina Putilova has said that the new anti-gay legislation in Russia had increased homophobic violence

Russian bisexual activist Irina Putilova is released from detention and taken off fast-track asylum list

Thousands of people signed a petition to support the 28-year-old's release

Police officers detain a gay rights activist during an unauthorized protest - Irina Putilova has said that the new anti-gay legislation in Russia had increased homophobic violence

Bisexual Russian activist fears for her safety after British authorities threaten to deport her

Irina Putilova could be returned home in a matter of days

Pavel Dmitrichenko, left, in footage released by Moscow police. The dancer was convicted of organising an acid attack on Sergei Filin, right

Bolshoi Ballet dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko sentenced to six years in prison over acid attack on artistic director Sergei Filin

Dancer and two co-defendants found guilty of attack which almost blinded the company’s artistic director Sergei Filin

Greenpeace arctic protest: Briton Philip Ball is freed

He was granted bail last week but remained in detention before being released by a court in St Petersburg today

British Greenpeace International activist Anthony Perrett at the Court hearings, in Murmansk, Russia

Greenpeace Arctic 30: Five Britons released on bail

Mr Perrett and Bryan have now been moved to an undisclosed location after a St Petersburg court granted their release

Members of the Native American Women Warriors march during the annual Veterans Day Parade in New York earlier this month

First people to colonise the Americas before Christopher Columbus are linked to Europe by new DNA discovery

DNA indicates that group of Siberians must have played a key role

Greenpeace Arctic 30: Russia grants bail to captain and two Britons

Captain Peter Wilcox and Britons Alex Harris and Kieron Bryan were granted bail today along with two other Greenpeace activists

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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
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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen