Richard Hall

Richard Hall is The Independent’s Assistant Foreign Editor. He was formerly Middle East Editor of The Daily Star, Beirut.

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One insurgent group linked to al-Qa’ida hopes to gain support in Syrian communities torn apart by two years of civil war by distributing aid and setting up its own schools and courts

Syria’s moderate rebel groups launch ‘soft power’ plan to beat Islamists

They hope a ‘hearts and minds’ campaign – promising extra aid and public services  in opposition-held areas – will help counter similar efforts by more radical Muslim groups

A Syrian mother holds her child at a refugee camp, near the Syrian border, in Mafraq, Jordan

Exclusive: Foreign doctors raise alarm over Syrian birth defects

The newly appointed International President of Médecins Sans Frontières has described the number of birth deformities as 'shocking'

Lebanese residents torch Syrian refugee camp

Residents of a village in eastern Lebanon torched tents that were housing hundreds of refugees who had fled the war in neighbouring Syria.

A US Marine and members of the Philippine Armed Forces help displaced civilians

Scant relief: China has pledged only £125,000 to help the Philippines recover from Super Typhoon Haiyan

Richard Hall examines the reasons for the world's second-largest economy's woeful aid donation

'What did I do wrong?': Why the banker who helped millions of Bangladeshis out of poverty became his country’s enemy number one

Muhammad Yunus has helped lift 50 million of his fellow Bangladeshis out of poverty with loans of as little as £14.50. His work has won him the Nobel Prize - and been copied around the world. So why is he now being hounded by his own government? And why are thousands set to take to the streets this week to protest against him?

Opposition fighters returning from the battlefield in the Idlib province, Syria. The regime says the war has reached a 'stalemate' and that it wants a ceasefire

Syrian peace talks will fail for as long as the rebels are not represented

The rebels are fighting amongst themselves, hopelessly split

Syrian opposition extremists slaughtered civilians, says Human Rights Watch

WARNING:  This video contains content which some readers may find disturbing

Extremist groups within the Syrian opposition are responsible for the mass killing of civilians, executions and hostage-taking in the countryside of north-western Syria, Human Rights Watch claims in a report released on Friday.

The rights group says an investigation into a military offensive by the rebels found strong evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Anna, Sir Richard Branson, far right, and Irish activist Sir Bob Geldof, second from right, during the opening ceremony for the One Young World summit

One Young World conference encourages new generation of leaders at world's largest youth gathering

The world is in a terrible mess. Global warming is causing irreversible damage to the environment, poverty and greed is stifling progress and corruption is rife. The solution? It’s time to hand over the reigns to the next generation. 

Coalition of powerful rebel groups reject Western-backed opposition

Syria crisis: Coalition of powerful rebel groups rejects Western-backed opposition

Blow for Syrian National Coalition which is recognised by more than 100 countries as a legitimate representative of forces fighting Assad regime

The rebels divide: Is this the new front in Syria's civil war?

Many were keen to make a distinction between the 'real' Free Syrian Army and those claiming the mantle. Now divisions will be made clearer within the rebel movement

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Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In my grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service