News Office politics: Mr Ortikov’s troubles began as a British embassy employee

Guard who refused to be a spy says UK turned its back on him

Craig Murray: A secret history of the kilt

The fashionistas in New York went wild for men in tartan last week. Our writer extols the garment with magnificent sway

Kazakh 'election' to yield yet another landslide for dictator

The result of yesterday's election in Kazakhstan was such a foregone conclusion that even one of the opposition candidates said he had voted for the incumbent. Official results today are expected to show a landslide majority for Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has run the country since the break-up of the Soviet Union and is accused by critics of being a dictator with a poor human rights record.

Usmanov increases stake at Emirates

Alisher Usmanov has increased his stake in Arsenal to "over 27 per cent". Red & White Holdings Limited, which is jointly owned by the Uzbek billionaire, made the announcement yesterday although they did not give any more details. The largest individual shareholder remains Stan Kroenke, who owns 29.9 per cent. Should anyone cross the 29.99 per cent threshold, they would be obliged to make an offer for the remaining shares.

Uzbeki human rights group shut down

Human Rights Watch has been forced to close its office in Uzbekistan after years of harassment by the authorities.

Bomber kills 35 at military base

A suicide bomber posing as an army volunteer struck at an Afghan military recruitment centre in the northern province of Kunduz yesterday, killing at least 35 people.

My Life In Travel: Colin Thubron, writer

'I've learnt that Britain is extremely peculiar'

Rodchenko and His Circle – Constructing the Future Through Photography, Art: Sensus, London

In 1921 the Russian Constructivist painter Alexander Rodchenko produced a suite of paintings in single, tonally neutral colours that were exhibited in a Moscow gallery. That revolutionary gesture, as he explained later, was tantamount to a declaration that painting was dead. The future lay with the newer arts of graphic design, cinema and photography. Painting reeked of nothing but stale antiquity.

Australia to meet three-times champions Japan in Asian final

Australia will play three-times champions Japan in the Asian Cup final after they thrashed Uzbekistan 6-0 at the Khalifa Stadium yesterday. Japan earlier beat South Korea 3-0 in a penalty shootout after the two sides played out a high quality 2-2 draw at the Al Gharafa Stadium.

Uzbek leader pressed by EU on human rights

The European Commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso, pressed the Uzbek leader, Islam Karimov, to free political prisoners during a meeting in Brussels on Monday that had drawn wide condemnation from rights groups. Mr Barroso met Mr Karimov to discuss energy and military co-operation, as well as human rights, but activists criticised the meeting as a signal that the European Union was reducing pressure for an end to violations in Uzbekistan.

Craig Murray: Afghanistan is the reason why EU ignores atrocities

Over a million children are taken out of school every year to pick cotton in dreadful – often fatal – conditions

Rights groups slate European Union for hosting Uzbek dictator

Secretive talks with a state accused of using child labour in its cotton fields

Usmanov plans to increase Arsenal stake

Alisher Usmanov hopes to increase his stake in Arsenal to overtake Stan Kroenke as the club's main shareholder, according to reports.

The hamlet walking a tightrope of survival

One man in Dagestan is fighting against unemployment and migration to revive the circus tradition

So, how did 164 pages of random questions become a bestseller?

Surreal, hypnotic and unique, the new book by American writer and academic Padgett Powell is a surprise literary hit. In this extract, he embarks on his epic journey of inquiry

Album: Louth Contemporary Music Society, Path (LCMS)

World premieres by Arvo Pärt and John Tavener are the main attractions of this anthology, though supporting material by Uzbek, Serbian and Georgian composers is equally engaging, particularly the two movements of Yanovsky's "Chang Music IV", which blend cello glissandi with koto-style pizzicato.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee