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.

Rights groups slate European Union for hosting Uzbek dictator

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

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

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.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable