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

Cleverley backs English youngsters to come good

Manchester United player claims the 'unbelievable' talent in Under-21 squad offers hope for the future

September 11 attackers former mosque closed

A mosque which used to be a meeting place for the September 11 attackers has been closed, German authorities said today.

Uzbek women accuse state of mass sterilizations

Saodat Rakhimbayeva says she wishes she had died with her newborn baby. The 24-year-old housewife had a cesarean section in March and gave birth to Ibrohim, a premature boy who died three days later.

After 70 years monitoring the airwaves, BBC listening post could be cut off

Budget review threatens Caversham Park, which broke news of JFK's assassination

Just 1,432 days to go until it all starts again...

The World Cup heads to Brazil for 2014, and the hosts are already under huge pressure. Can they win, and win in style? And will travel issues spoil the party?

A Carpet Ride to Khiva: Seven Years on the Silk Road, By Christopher Alexander

The British author Christopher Alexander travelled to Khiva, an ancient Silk Road outpost in northwest Uzbekistan, to work for a Swedish NGO, and ended up making the place his home. Immersing himself in the country's language and culture, he became fascinated by kilims (hand-woven rugs) and established a workshop in a disused madrassah (school) to help revive age-old weaving techniques cast aside during the Soviet era. He soon found himself exporting his rugs around the world and tangling with corrupt officials greedy for bribes.

Kyrgyzstan swears in caretaker president

Kyrgyzstan's provisional leader Roza Otunbayeva was sworn in as president today, ushering in what the turbulent Central Asian nation's government hopes will be a new era of stability and democratic freedoms.

A Carpet Ride To Khiva, By Christopher Aslan Alexander

Christopher Aslan Alexander begins his journey to Khiva, in Uzbekistan, like any other itinerant, media-studies graduate employed to write an online tourist's guidebook might: living with an over-protective host family, gurning at the cuisine and reflecting urbanely on a country "marooned somewhere between Mohammed and Marx" where the government has pasted "Wanted" posters of Wahabis outside mosques.

Voters back democracy, claims Kyrgyzstan leader

Confounding observers who predicted the vote would be a catalyst for further turmoil in Kyrgyzstan, a referendum to creating Central Asia's first parliamentary democracy went calmly both in the capital, Bishkek, and in southern regions where ethnic tensions erupted in violence earlier this month.

Kyrgyzstan on alert ahead of vote on new constitution

Ballot intended to bring Central Asian country, torn by ethnic violence, closer to democracy

Kyrgyz investigators exhume bodies of riot victims

Investigators in southern Kyrgyzstan began exhuming the bodies of those killed during rampages against the Uzbek minority as tensions rose ahead of tomorrow's constitutional referendum.

Kyrgyz leaders urged to halt 'illegitimate' referendum

Light aircraft flew over the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, yesterday to drop leaflets urging the public to vote.

Louise Arbour: International community must intervene before it is too late

No one should underestimate the potential for large-scale ethnic violence to spread

Kyrgyz troops 'storm Uzbek hospital'

Troops beat several dozen men and women in an Uzbek neighbourhood in southern Kyrgyzstan's main city yesterday in a raid that deepened refugees' fears about returning to an area seared by an eruption of deadly ethnic violence.

Uzbeks killed by Kyrgyz forces

Kyrgyzstan's security forces clashed with ethnic Uzbeks in the south of the country yesterday, where up to 2,000 people were killed in a wave of bloodletting earlier this month.

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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
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links