Voices

When Maria Miller travels to Sochi next week, she must seize the opportunity to raise the issue of LGBT rights with Russian officials

Alexander Litvinenko is pictured at the Intensive Care Unit of University College Hospital in 2006 - secret services allegedly asked the late spy to provide 'expert analysis' on a confidential Foreign Office report

Alexander Litvinenko case: Coroner will not consider Russian involvement in his death

The British coroner examining the death of an ex-KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko has today ruled the question of whether Russia was responsible will be withdrawn from the scope of the inquiry.

Vladimir Putin vows to pardon jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Former Yukos Oil tycoon was convicted of tax evasion and embezzlement

Sochi's gay scene

Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks at his annual press conference in Moscow on 19 December 2013

President Putin backs NSA surveillance as 'necessary' to fight terrorism

But government needs to 'limit appetite' of agency with clear ground rules

Billie Jean King, tennis player

Page 3 Profile: Billie Jean King, tennis player

Why is she back in the news - not out of retirement surely?!

Members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot were given two-year jail terms for protesting against President Vladimir Putin on the altar of Moscow's main cathedral

Pussy Riot: A beacon of hope in Russia’s dark days

The saga sums up the crass stupidity of authoritarian regimes, whose fear of even mild challenges leads them to endlessly create martyrs

Sending homosexual delegates to Sochi doesn't begin to address Russia's gay rights crisis

Barack Obama gravely overlooks the unfolding HIV epidemic in Russia

Arctic 30 and Pussy Riot members to be freed after Russia passes amnesty law

Hopes are now that activists and journalists will be home for Christmas following move by Russian parliament

Billie Jean King

Winter Olympics 2014: USA to send two openly gay sportswomen to Sochi, including Billie Jean King

Choice of delegates appears a statement on controversial laws in Russia

President Obama announces Billie Jean King as one of two openly gay delegates for Sochi Winter Olympics ceremony

Tennis great King will be joined by gay ice hockey player Caitlin Cahow

Ukrainian protesters shout slogans during a mass opposition rally in Independence Square in Kiev

Russia bails out Ukraine for $15bn – but deal triggers street protests in Kiev

The two countries’ leaders reached agreement at talks in the Kremlin that appeared to begin frostily but ended with them laughing at a ceremony where documents were signed on reducing trade barriers

An estimated 200,000 anti-government demonstrators converge on Independence Square in central Kiev

EU halts Ukraine talks over ‘unrealistic’ demands

Arguments and demands of president and his government “have no grounds in reality”

Mr Putin made a thinly-veiled attack on the West's more liberal attitudes toward gay rights

President Vladimir Putin hails Russia's 'defence of traditional values' in his state of the nation speech

Mr Putin criticised the West's more liberal attitudes toward gay rights and US attempts at intervention in Syria

Vladimir Putin says Russia is last bastion of conservatism against ‘infertile tolerance’

Russian president defends anti-gay laws in annual state-of-the-nation address

Guards escort and Yekaterina Samutsevich (left), Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (centre) and Maria Alekhina to their trial in Moscow last year

Pussy Riot may be free by new year after judgement is overturned by Russia's Supreme Court

Russia’s Supreme Court has said the ruling that jailed the feminist punk group Pussy Riot was illegal and their case should be heard again.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
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Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
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Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect