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.

Brazil striker Hulk

Brazil striker Hulk claims Chelsea are interested in signing him

The Zenit St Petersburg striker is attracting the interest of Jose Mourinho

The News Matrix: Monday 27 May 2013

Pakistani lesbians marry in Britain

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

Venus, Flora, Mars and Cupid (Allegory) by Paris Bordone

Sir Robert Walpole's 'magnificent' art collection to return home to Britain - temporarily

Works by masters including Rembrandt, Velasquez and Rubens to be displayed at Houghton Hall in Norfolk

On Glasgow and Edinburgh, By Robert Crawford

A study of the love and hate between 'enlightenment' Edinburgh and 'industrial' Glasgow

In the Red: Why I'm waving goodbye to freebies - until the next time

There was a time when journalists didn't have to pay a penny to go on holiday

Former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler cancels Russian gigs over country's 'human rights crackdown'

Mark Knopfler has cancelled two shows in Russia in protest over what he says is a crackdown on human rights groups in the country.

Roberto Mancini believes that 13-goal Dzeko would really prosper in Italy

Roberto Mancini claims Manchester City can reignite title race

Manchester United lead their rivals by 12 points

Martin Skrtel

Martin Skrtel's Liverpool future uncertain after defender questions Brendan Rodgers

Skrtel suggests he may have been misled by the Liverpool manager

On hold: Armen Nazaryan says ‘from now on I will drink only syrup’

Wrestling may be back in the rings

All is not lost for one of the oldest Olympic disciplines as rival politicians form an unlikely tag team

Joe Allen of Liverpool has vowed to make up for his recent lack of form

Joe Allen to make up for recent dip in form for Liverpool

The Reds are in Europa League action tonight

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Sightseeing in deepest Finland

Q I am flying to deepest Finland from Heathrow, with a five-and-a-half-hour stopover in Helsinki. Is this enough time for sightseeing or am I doomed to wander the corridors and gift shops waiting for the hours to tick by?

Alastair Kleissner, South Wales

Take advantage of a Finnish stopover by taking a break from the airport

Q&A: Travel unravelled

Police held gay rights activists who staged a protest against the Bill, which targets those who promote homosexuality to children

Activists held in protest over ‘gay propaganda’ bill

Russian parliament approves outlawing the promotion of homosexual links

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Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin