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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German pianist Klavier Kunst (L) performs with an unidentified activist at Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey

Turkey protests: The 'peace pianist' trying to bring calm to Taksim Square

The soothing sound of a grand piano drifted across Taksim Square last night, bringing a welcome calm a day after violence rocked the area.

Riot police fire tear gas to disperse the crowd

Eyewitness: In Taksim Square, tear gas and bulldozers just add fuel to Turkish protesters' ire

Turks demonstrating in Istanbul tell Richard Hall that the brutal police tactics expose a dictatorship at work

Turkey protests: ‘Tear gas is not enough. If I was in power I would have used guns’

Demonstrators stockpiling face masks and goggles to protect against tear gas, and rebuilding barricades that have been destroyed

A member of the forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad rides a bike along a street piled with damaged buildings in Qusayr, after the Syrian army took control of the city from rebel fighters

A snapshot of Qusayr: Voices from a city ravaged by war

The Syrian city of Qusayr has seen fierce fighting during the past three weeks as government troops, supported by Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon, have sought to take it back from the rebel control.

Syrian rebels cannot be clumped into one group

They share the same aim - the removal of Assad from power - but they are not the same

US Senator John McCain crosses into Syria for talks with rebel leader

US Senator John McCain crossed the border into Syria for talks with rebel commanders, becoming the highest-level American official to enter the country since the civil war began more than two years ago.

The aftermath of an Israeli air strike in Syria

The parachute columnists are back with a vengeance

They can write about what they want from wherever they want, not needing to know much about their chosen topic so long as they write well - this time it's Syria

UN's Carla Del Ponte says there is evidence rebels 'may have used sarin' in Syria

UN officials insist inquiry 'has not reached conclusive findings'

Dozens of men have uploaded pictures to Facebook of themselves cross-dressing

Cross-dressing Kurds in Iran to support women’s rights

A group of men from the Kurdish community in religiously conservative Iran have found a novel way of supporting women's rights: cross-dressing.

A pro-democracy protest in Manama

Bahrain Grand Prix motors on as Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone says: 'What human rights? – I don't know what they are'

A heavy police presence on the streets of Bahrain ensured that pro-democracy protests did not disrupt the country’s controversial Grand Prix today – which activists had argued should not have taken place due to widespread human rights abuses by the ruling monarchy.

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Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past