Featured articles


Russia’s new dissidents

Alexei Navalny, the de facto leader of the demonstrators who thronged freezing Moscow on Christmas Eve, minces no words. On ­rospil.info, a website he founded that is dedicated to the investigation of local and municipal corruption, he introduces the topic like this: ‘Why is all of this necessary? Because pensioners, doctors and teachers are practically

The audacity of Obama

Can the President really pose as the ‘fair shake’ candidate? Barack Obama knows that, after three unsuccessful years as president, he cannot again sell himself to the electorate as a messiah who brings hope and change. The hope that accompanied his election vanished as the American economy continued to sink. Little has changed. But the

Mission Impossible

At the height of empire, Britain used to send missionaries out to Africa and Asia to instruct the natives in personal hygiene, instil good table manners and preach the gospel. The occasional unlucky one found himself in a cannibal’s pot for his trouble; but mostly they won out, establishing themselves as the kindly, civilising arm

On the wrong track

The high-speed rail link will spell disaster for the countryside – and for Cameron My outing with the Bicester hunt has already taken me over a five-bar iron gate when a lady on a handsome dapple grey pulls up alongside me. ‘You’re visiting, aren’t you?’ she says, as our horses snort and stamp. ‘You need

Meryl, Maggie and me

Director Phyllida Lloyd on Meryl Streep’s eerily accurate portrayal of the Iron Lady Maybe she’s lost interest. Perhaps she’s just knackered. Almost certainly she’s had a bellyful of listening to herself talking about her film, The Iron Lady. When I meet Phyllida Lloyd, who also directed the 2008 smash hit, Mamma Mia, I’m expecting to

Travel Extra: Cruise – Breaking the ice

Alaska is best seen by ship, says Patrick Allitt – just so long as you choose the right season For two thirds of every year Alaska is a nightmare of ice and darkness. For 16 or 17 weeks, by contrast, it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth, and anyone who can find a

Travel Extra: First steps on skis

When I was just starting out on the slopes, a slip of a boy with nothing but training skis and a dream, there were a number of issues I wish someone had warned me about: 1. Don’t let your mother kit you out The piste is really just a massive catwalk. I look all right

Travel Extra: Ski – Man against mountain

A friend of mine called Mike Peyton had what he modestly describes in his memoirs as an ‘average war’. It included having his battalion of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers overrun and wiped out in the Western Desert; nearly starving to death in an Italian POW camp; witnessing the bombing of Dresden; escaping from his camp

Travel Extra: Return to Zimbabwe

Who would have thought that a pig and an elephant would become best friends? ‘When we began looking after Kimba, an orphaned elephant, she took an instant liking to Whisky, our pig,’ says James Varden, my guide. ‘Elephants are social animals, so they slept together. Whisky was extremely protective of Kimba and panicked if she

Travel Extra: Safari – The ride of a lifetime

It’s not easy seeing the Masai Mara on horseback, says Charles Moore – but it’s also impossible to forget On the third day, we left our original camp to ride 30 miles to the next. There were 15 of us, including our leader Tristan Voorspuy and two Masai grooms. We had all gathered for a