News The offices of the Guardian newspaper in central London

China has blocked the websites of The Guardian and other media organisations which published stories about the offshore holdings of relatives of the country’s leading figures.

The Hemlock Cup: Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life, By Bettany Hughes

The shining names of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Archimedes have left a permanent mark in the annals of human civilization". These are not my words, but those of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, and they are unarguably persuasive. Not a bad achievement for a thinker who, in the case of Socrates, left behind not a single unquestionably self-authored word.

Premier cancels Japan meeting

Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao will not hold a one-on-one meeting intended to mend ties at an Asian summit after Chinese anger flared over a dispute in the East China Sea.

American bid to avert global currency war rejected at G20

A bold American plan to redress "global imbalances" in international trade and limit the surpluses that can be run by nations such as China was yesterday rejected out of hand.

Xi Jinping in line for presidency

China's vice-President Xi Jinping was promoted to a key post in the Communist Party's military committee yesterday, affirming his path to the country's leadership.

Nobel row clouds China's five-year plan for growth

The annual meeting of China's leaders began behind closed doors yesterday, with discussions on the economy overshadowed by the threat posed to the Communist Party by the award of the Nobel peace prize to a prominent dissident.

IMF warns countries to work together or face wars

Strauss-Kahn tells ministers and bankers that their failure to co-operate threatens global stability

Edwin Pak-wah Leung: His speeches after earthquakes and floods show it is more than just an act

From what I've seen from Chinese news clips, I don't think that Wen Jiabao is performing. It's something that he can do with all of his heart. Instead of going through the political structure, this is his way of going to the people, although there may be others – including Chinese dissidents – who might be sceptical. It you really examine his speeches when he goes out to the people after the earthquakes and the flooding, it's not pretence.

Chinese premier's caring image is a sham, dissident's book alleges

Critique of leader could land writer a prison sentence, Clifford Coonan reports from Beijing

China sends troops to dig out hundreds of people buried under mudslides

Chinese troops dug with their hands through muddy debris yesterday to try to find 1,300 people missing when flood water and landslides swept through an isolated town killing at least 127 people. A wall of mud, rocks and water pummelled the isolated valley town of Zhouqu, tearing buildings from their foundations and overturning cars.

Mud landslide traps at least 100 people

More than 100 people have been buried by a landslide in southwestern China and there is little hope for their survival.

Strikes threaten China's status as the factory of the world

A rash of new strikes in China, in defiance of the country's long-standing aversion to industrial action, is posing an unprecedented threat to its reputation as an exporting powerhouse.

Welcome slowdown in the workshop of the world

Whereas in most Western economies weaker business confidence in the manufacturing sector would be met with alarm, in China the fact that the economy is slowing down will be welcomed as evidence that official efforts to control inflation and restrain a potential bubble economy may now be succeeding.

China offers condolence for sinking of South Korea ship

The premier of China, North Korea's main ally, today offered condolences to South Korea for the sinking of a warship blamed on Pyongyang after promising his country would not defend anyone guilty of the attack, as it faced growing pressure to take punitive action.

Cameron's day: Baby on the way, country to run – and he's moving house

Paul Vallely tells the story of the Prime Minister's first day in the new job

Alive, after eight days trapped in a Chinese mine

Stuck in a flooded shaft, they lived on bark and sawdust with little hope of seeing the outside world again. Then, the miracle...
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn