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.

US Secretary of State John Kerry that the United States will support Iraq's fight against al-Qa'ida-linked militants who have overrun two cities, but won't send in American troops

US will support Iraq but won't send in troops, says John Kerry

US Secretary of State says militants are trying to destabilise the region

And relax: modern resorts are expanding their spa options

Senior al-Qa'ida figure Majid al-Majid dies in custody in Lebanon

An army statement said al-Majid died in a military hospital in Beirut

BNP leader Nick Griffin declared bankrupt: Where has all his money gone?

Surely a man on a near £1m income over five years, law degree from Cambridge and ambitions to manage the economy, should not have lost control of his purse strings?

5 more important ways that Nick Griffin is bankrupt

The leader of the BNP Nick Griffin was yesterday declared bankrupt. He doesn't own a house, and has run out of money. But there are some other, probably more important things that the far-right politician lacks...

Ali Aydi, right, the uncle of Rania Alayed and a friend put flowers at a layby next to the A19 near Thirsk in North Yorkshire

Family of missing Manchester woman Rania Alayed appeal for information

Does a moorland road hold the vital clue to solving her death?

Back to reality: The news you missed over Christmas

Did Christmas presents take precedent over world events during the festive period? Here is a quick round up of the top news stories from the past week

Skype's social media accounts hacked in protest against US surveillance

The Microsoft-owned video-calling service had both its Twitter account and its blog hacked by the prolific hacking group

The News Matrix: Wednesday 01 January 2014

Conservative halve Labour’s poll lead

A reporter takes notes at a press conference.

At least 70 journalists were killed on the job around the world in 2013

The deaths of 25 more are also being investigated to establish if they too are work-related

Alistair Burt has warned that the parliamentary vote against military action in Syria has potentially created a dangerous precedent

Former Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt warns of dangerous precedent created by Parliament's Syria vote

'There is now a question mark about what parliament actually will authorise military support for,' he told The Guardian

Health check: Obamacare is gaining momentum. But there is far to go before the US President’s defining policy is a sure success

Such considerations are nothing compared with the tragedy that the failure of Obamacare would be for America

Lebanese soldiers at an explosion site in Sbouba, Bekaa, on 17 December

Lebanese army fires on Syrian helicopters ‘for violating airspace’

Officials say the Syrians were chasing rebels who were trying to sneak into Lebanon

BBC computer server hacked by Russian cyber criminal

Infamous Russian hacker HASH is believed to have masterminded the attack

The News Matrix: Monday 30 December 2013

Firefighters rescue stranded seagull

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
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A poster by Durham Constabulary
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Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
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Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
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Emily McDowell Card that reads:
artCancer survivor Emily McDowell kicks back at the clichés
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footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
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Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvBadalamenti on board for third series
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Standing room only: the terraces at Villa Park in 1935
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Ben Stokes celebrates with his team mates after bowling Brendon McCullum
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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
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine