Life and Style

The international puzzle that requires knowledge of steganography, Aleister Crowley and the darknet is back again, and the internet is just as confused

Special Olympics: Huge medal haul for GB team

The Great Britain Special Olympics team has returned home triumphant after winning a total of 88 medals at the European Summer Games in Warsaw, Poland.

Chopin fest is Poles apart

Tomorrow, the south London borough of Southwark twins with Warsaw to celebrate the bicentenary of Chopin's birth. Audio-visual installations will run concurrently in both cities to show his works in a new light.

Chechen exile held in Poland flies home

A Chechen separatist who was briefly detained in Poland on a Russian warrant accusing him of murder, kidnapping and terrorism, has left Warsaw to return to his home in London, a Polish aide said yesterday.

Chechen exile detained in Warsaw accuses Poland of betrayal

They have turned their backs on us, says leader wanted by Russia

Shaun Walker: Arrest brings old enemies closer together

In the past, Poland has been a safe haven for thousands of Chechen refugees. Now, the country is acting to detain a Chechen leader whose past may be murky, but who has been granted political asylum by another EU state.

Charles Crawford: Are some disabilities just too expensive to be supported?

When I heard that the FCO was sending a profoundly deaf first secretary to work in the embassy I did not believe it could work. Diplomacy turns on nuance – deaf officers surely would miss too much.

Diplomat 'denied foreign post due to her deafness'

A foreign office high-flier appointed as Britain's deputy ambassador to Kazakhstan has had her posting revoked after officials ruled that her deafness makes it too expensive to send her abroad. Jane Cordell, who was lauded for her work championing disability rights during a previous diplomatic role in Poland, is suing the Foreign Office for discrimination after being told that the additional cost of providing her with trained "lip speakers" to enable her to work can no longer be justified from the public purse.

Book Of A lifetime: Main Currents Of Marxism, By Leszek Kolakowski

I was standing on a beach in Siberia when this book was recommended to me. The wavelets of a small artificial ocean made by damming the river Ob were splashing on the sand, and I was wondering out loud about the roots of the Soviet passion for making grand modifications to nature. "You need to read Kolakowski," said the person I was with. "He's got a great chapter about what he calls 'the Promethean motif' in Marxism – the idea that it's the destiny of humanity to steal fire from the gods and make the world whatever we want it to be."

Firefighter at Forest who won't change the record

Non-stop – but honest – grumbles at club's transfer policy from manager who admits he is a pain, as spectre of O'Neill looms large

Memorial cross exposes Poland's religious divide

A cross honouring the victims of the plane crash that killed the late Polish president Lech Kaczynski has provoked thousands of protesters to take to the streets to demand its removal.

David Cameron: A celebration – and a challenge for us all

The Prime Minister salutes our Pink List, and says that, 10 years since its inception, it still has a vital role to play

Arsenal hit by Bendtner injury blow

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed striker Nicklas Bendtner will miss the start of the Barclays Premier League season due to a persistent groin injury.

Gays defy Polish traditionalists for EuroPride march

15,000 turn out in Warsaw for the first staging of the premier event east of former Iron Curtain

Polish presidential election goes to a run-off

A sombre election season in Poland was prolonged by two weeks when a first round of voting produced no immediate successor to Lech Kaczynski, the president killed more than two months ago in a plane crash.

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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
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
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there