News Dmytro Bulatov,a Ukrainian opposition activist, says he was kidnapped and tortured

He led AutoMaidan protest movement that organised motorcades outside the houses of politicians and oligarchs

Nigerians strike over fuel hike

Normally bustling streets were empty as trade unions began a paralysing national strike in oil-rich Nigeria today, angered by soaring fuel prices and decades of government corruption.

Grounded cargo ship breaks up off the coast of New Zealand

A cargo ship grounded off the New Zealand coast since October has split in two, spilling sea containers and debris and sparking fears of a fresh oil spill, maritime officials said today.

Optimistic US shoppers calm fears of fresh slump

Eyes turn to whether Europe can follow suit and gain stability to help lift stock markets

Men look at the wreckage of a car following a bomb blast at St Theresa Catholic Church outside the Nigerian capital Abuja

Scores killed in deadly bomb attacks at churches in Nigeria

Terror attacks across Nigeria by a radical Muslim sect killed at least 39 people, with the majority dying on the steps of a Catholic church after celebrating Christmas Mass.

The Republican candidates Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman Jnr before Thursday's televised debate in Sioux City

Phoney war ends with Republican race still wide open

At the conclusion of the GOP's last debate, there is still no clear front-runner who can unite the party

Terrorist convictions reach 35,000

At least 35,000 people worldwide have been convicted as terrorists in the decade since the 11 September attacks on the United States. But while some bombed hotels or blew up buses, others were put behind bars for demonstrating or blogging.

Five killed as 'freak wind' blows down Indianapolis festival stage

An investigation has been launched into safety failures that may have led to the collapse in strong winds of a concert stage in Indianapolis that killed five people and left more than 40 injured, some of them seriously.

Mysterious orange goo leaves Alaskan villagers baffled

A neon orange goo that appeared in a remote Alaskan village last week has scientists baffled.

Old vial of blood may reveal serial killer Ted Bundy's secrets

Ted Bundy, the prolific serial killer who confessed to murdering at least 30 young women in the 1970s, could soon have more deaths added to his toll. Police in Florida have found a vial of his blood, allowing them to create for the first time a full DNA profile that they hope will help solve a string of cases.

Amy Winehouse left trove of unreleased music

Amy Winehouse left a trove of unreleased music, but no decision has been made about whether it will be released, people close to the singer say.

'Argument' led woman to cut off husband's penis

Prosecutors say an argument over houseguests led a woman in Southern California to cut off her estranged husband's penis and put it down a garbage disposal.

Experts doubt Amanda Knox DNA evidence



Some of the DNA traces used to convict American student Amanda Knox of murdering Briton Meredith Kercher may have been contaminated, independent experts say.

How Bin Laden 'planned to give al-Qa'ida an image makeover'

Osama bin Laden, holed-up in his Pakistan hideaway, contemplated changing the name of al-Qa’ida in order to rebrand the organisation and make it more attractive to potential recruits, according to documents recovered from his compound.

Did Bin Laden really have secret porn stash?

Claim by US officials provokes widespread ridicule and suspicion

Business Diary: The bottom dollar for Jobs and Pandit

Pass the collection plate round. Associated Press has just published a survey of America's lowest-paid chief executives – and there's a tie for first place. Both Steve Jobs of Apple and Vikram Pandit of Citigroup earned just $1 last year. Pandit has vowed not to take more than that until Citi has put the financial crisis well and truly behind it, while Jobs has drawn only a dollar a year from Apple for many years now, though he does own 5.5 million shares in the company and is hardly on his uppers. It's an example that a few other chief executives might care to follow.

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world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
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Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
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Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

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Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
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Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?