One Olympic ring failed to unfurl but President Vladmir Putin nonetheless declared Russia's Winter Games open under a burst of fireworks.
Kate Middleton may be putting on a brave face, but the Duchess of Cambridge claims to be "very pleased" with the result.
British singer David Bowie released his first new song in nearly a decade in a surprise launch coinciding with his 66th birthday.
A British art sleuth has recovered a painting by French artist Matisse that was stolen from a Stockholm museum 25 years ago.
JK Rowling has taken a step into the unknown with the publication of her debut adult novel "The Casual Vacancy".
Pieta, an ultra-violent story of a loan shark confronted by a woman claiming to be his mother, has won the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival.
Comedy will dominate the opening of the Cannes film festival, with Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom and Sacha Baron Cohen's anarchic General Aladeen.
The biggest awards night in British music honoured artists often left out of other international ceremonies.
Prince Charles has led celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens, one of English literature's most revered novelists.
The Artist led Bafta nominations on Tuesday picking up 12, one ahead of British Cold War-era spy movie Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.