Catrina Stewart

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Khaled Meshaal, left, was keen to broker a deal with President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, right

Uncertainty in Hamas as leader decides to quit

Meshaal's departure may affect movement's shift to a more moderate stance towards Israel

Police raids aim to stamp out sales of Barbie dolls

Iran has opened up a new front in its propaganda war with the West – by cracking down on the sale of Barbie dolls. Iran's feared morality police has raided shops selling Barbie dolls, confiscating the popular toy from stores and forcing some shopkeepers to close.

Iran 'can build nuclear bomb now'

An Israeli former intelligence chief has said that Iran could build a nuclear bomb any time it wants, a claim that could aggravate tensions between Israel and the United States and heighten fears that the Jewish state could launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman faces charges of money-laundering

Could corruption trial stop the rise of the black sheep of Israeli politics?

Described once by an American magazine editor as a "neo-fascist" and a "certified gangster", Israel's firebrand Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is no stranger to controversy. It has not stopped him from building up a devoted following that has propelled his party to the forefront of Israeli politics.

General Martin Dempsey: A former combat commander in Iraq, he became head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff last September

US military chief heads to Israel to avert attack on Iran

President Barack Obama's top military adviser will arrive in Israel this week amid deepening fears in Washington that the country is planning a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.

Russia warns of Syrian no-fly zone claim

Russia has claimed that Nato is preparing to impose a no-fly zone in Syria to protect rebel fighters, a move that would dramatically escalate the 10-month uprising.

Ultraorthodox men with a sign reading: 'Women are asked not to linger here'

Sexism and the state of Israel

Driven by a theology that refuses to grant women equal rights, ultraorthodox Jews have begun to flex their misogynist muscles. But, says Catrina Stewart, a fightback has begun

Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad

Arab League to discuss fate of Syria mission

Mounting criticism of monitors' response as French President calls for Assad to stand down

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh on board the Mavi Marmara in Istanbul yesterday

Gaza PM stirs tension by boarding blockade ship

Palestinians plan diplomatic blitz to increase pressure on Israel over peace talks

MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD: The President is promising Iran will block oil shipments in response to further sanctions

Iran tests the West's patience with show of might in missile launch

Iran says it has successfully test-fired a medium-range missile close to the strategic Straits of Hormuz, a move that will test Western patience in the stand-off over its nuclear programme.

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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?