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.

Iron Curtain: the Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-56 By Anne Applebaum

A superb study in the savagery of Soviet invasion and occupation of the Eastern bloc

Where the games began: On 23rd July 1948, the day when the Olympic Games began at Wembley Stadium, spinal injury patients – for the most part injured Second World War soliders – met in the gardens of Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury, for the first ever Stoke Mandeville Games. Their doctor, Ludwig Guttmann, had battled all manner of establishment figures to stage the games, which he recognised as crucial to restoring both his patients' health and their self-esteem. His efforts were noticed by the International Olympic Committee.

Key moments from the Paralympics past

How an Aylesbury doctor's idea to help injured servicemen recover from the Second World War spawned a festival of sport

Damascus denies jet was shot down

A warplane that came down in an eastern province crashed because of a technical failure and its pilot ejected, according to state media, while rebels claim they shot it down and captured the pilot.

Streets paved with gold Runners pass through the historic Leadenhall Market in the City of London during the marathon yesterday. Stephen Kiprotich won the race to give Uganda their first medal

Olympics round-up: Dream Team hold off Spanish challenge

Four years on, the basketball narrative is much the same. The United States are again Olympic champions and Spain, while threatening that dominance, remain inferior. The US have now won men's gold at five out of the last six Games.

Witness, World Service, Tuesday
Darwin's Tunes, Radio 4, Wednesday

How to make friends by thawing the Ice Curtain

The coach Mano Menezes carries the hopes of a nation as Brazil go for their first football gold

Brazil target glory with eye on World Cup

Mano Menezes knows how important this afternoon's final is. His players will take on Mexico for the gold medal in the men's football at Wembley at 3pm.

Sir Bernard Lovell at the Jodrell Bank Observatory

Sir Bernard Lovell, pioneer of Jodrell Bank, dies at 98

Tributes to designer of legendary British telescope and 'inventor' of modern astronomy

Syria's first man in space flees to Turkey

Syria's first man in space has fled to Turkey and joined opposition forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad's regime, the latest in a string of high-ranking defections, Turkey's state-run news agency reported yesterday.

A Journey to Nowhere By Jean-Paul Kauffmann (trans. Euan Cameron)

A quest for one of Europe's vanished states brings close encounters with past and present

Olga Korbut shows off her medals

Olympic Shorts: Training 12 hours a day was just a drag, says Korbut

There were so many tears at the women's team gymnastics final that spectators would have been forgiven for thinking they had bought tickets to the Aquatics Centre. Nevertheless, everyone was awed by the incredible performances from team USA. All, that is, except former Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut. The "Sparrow from Minsk", who won three gold medals in the 1972 Games, was asked by Gabby Logan whether we were seeing a golden era of gymnastics unfold. "No," replied Korbut, to laughs in the studio. "This is era going down. We need to find new Olga to change to more beautiful gymnastics."

Michael Phelps today became the most decorated Olympian of all time

Michael Phelps makes history after becoming the most decorated Olympian of all time

Michael Phelps tonight became the most decorated Olympian of all-time after claiming a silver and a gold at the Aquatics Centre.

Yesterday’s match between Great Britain and Russia

Water fight! Tom Peck gets his first taste of water polo

Forget boxing – London 2012's most violent discipline is staged in the pool

Kiev Biennale of Contemporary Art, Mystetskyi Arsenal

Two things stand out at the first Kiev International Biennale: the superior video pieces on show and a range of intelligent, original works made by a selection of Ukrainian artists (22 in total, providing a prime nationalistic platform for this under-the-radar group).

Leading article: A chance to stand up to Putin

In November 2009, the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was beaten to death by guards after 358 days in "preventive custody" in Moscow. His offence had been to uncover a massive tax fraud scheme stretching high into the Russian government. The case became a cause célèbre, Exhibit A of the lawlessness and corruption that plagues the country's business life.

The most deadly avalanches in history

This is a factfile of some of the most deadly incidents in history:

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How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue