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

Career Services

Day In a Page

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
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?