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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They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
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Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
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Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea