<strong>Into the Abyss: explorers on the edge of survival</strong>
Benedict Allen <em>Faber & Fabe
Dervla Murphy finds love, God and strong beer on the coal-fuelled train to Russia's furthest corner
Martin Bell on Nguyen Vu Binh
A Vietnamese cyber dissident is imprisoned by a government determin
Founded in 1946, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) has been in power ever since the Federation of Malaya achieved independence in 1957.
<strong>The Idea of India</strong>
Sunil Khilnani <em>Penguin Books, 304pp, £10.99</em>
East and west face each other across a divide that some call a religious war. Suicide jihadis take w
Lahore was his first love, New York a passionate affair, but it was London that hooked Mohsin Hamid
Tony Blair's ambition to eradicate opium production in Afghanistan has failed miserably. More poppie
With his baggy black T-shirt, earnest round face and mid-length hair, my friend looks like exactly what he is: a geeky, techno-savvy, new-generation Chinese journalist-cum-blogger-cum-podcaster.
<strong>Shadow of the Silk Road</strong>
Colin Thubron <em>Chatto & Windus, 363pp, £20</em>
<strong>In Spite of the Gods: the strange rise of modern India</strong>
Edward Luce <em>Little, Br
Strolling around my new neighbourhood in Beijing, a long-time haunt of foreigners, I was confronted by a sign in Russian and English reading: "Welcome to Alien's Street." In fact, I felt alienated only once in my initial week in China, and that was when I went to Ikea.
China and India pose more of a threat than bosses or workers
Xiao Jia Gu on Hu Jintao of China
Jasper Becker on Kim Jong-il of North Korea
Vikram Chandra <em>Faber & Faber, 915pp, £17.99</em>
Andrey Kurkov on Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus
<strong>China Syndrome: the true story of the 21st century's first great epidemic</strong>
Ali M Ansari on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran
Lucy Ash on Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan
You won't have heard of Hermie Marquesa. He lived in the town of Tandag, about 500 miles south of Manila, and he was an activist in a farmers' group called the Peasant Movement of the Philippines. A few nights ago some men with rifles forced their way into his house and shot him dead.
The half-million residents of the Jaffna peninsula are stranded and their supplies of food, water and medicine are dwindling. According to the UN Refugee Agency at least 170,000 others have been displaced and thousands of them lack food and shelter.
In the last weekend of July, a group of British Muslims flocked in their thousands to attend a convention in Alton, Hampshire. Most were of Pakistani, Bangladeshi or Indian origin.
By this October, my courageous sister and fellow Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi will have spent 11 years of her life in detention in Burma. Eleven years that she has sacrificed and dedicated to the freedom of her people.
It was the sight of saffron-robed monks whipping overexcited fans back into their seats at an outdoor gig in Bagan that first turned me on to one of the oddest hybrids in world contemporary music: the Burmese rap scene. The shaven-headed holy men had sticks and were in earnest.