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A Lebanese man attempts to clear the oil in 2006

Israel asked by UN to pay Lebanon over $850m for 2006 oil spill along coast

Lebanon labelled the resolution - which is not legally binding - as 'huge progress', while Israel accused the UN of bias

Israel launches air strikes on Gaza targets, the first since the August truce

Israeli military said the airstrike was on what it called a 'Hamas terror infrastructure site'

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters stand near burning vehicles during a suicide attack carried out by the Islamic State group in Kesarej village, south of Zumar, Nineveh province on 18 December 2014. Kurdish peshmerga fighters have fought their way to Iraq's Sinjar mountain and freed hundreds of people trapped there by Islamic State fighters, head of the Iraqi Kurdish region's national security council Masrour Barzani said

Kurdish fighters clear corridor, letting trapped Yazidis leave mountain

The spectacle of the Yazidis trapped on the mountain galvanised President Barack Obama to initiate US military action in August

An Egyptian guard outside a court earlier this year

Hundreds of schoolchildren illegally detained in squalid Egyptian prison

Human rights organisation claims the boys, aged between 14 and 17, are being held in dangerous and dirty conditions and denied their rights

The US aid worker Peter Kassig in Syria, where he was held hostage in 2013

FBI 'backed secret talks' between Abu Qatada and jihadi cleric with Isis to free Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig

Talks spearheaded by controversial lawyer 'collapsed when second cleric was detained by Jordan'

Kurdish peshmerga fighters have fought their way to Iraq's Sinjar mountain and freed hundreds of people trapped there by Islamic State fighters

Isis latest: Kurdish forces 'break' the siege of Mount Sinjar

Kurdish forces claim it is their 'biggest victory yet' against the extremist militant group

Three Isis leaders have been killed in US airstrikes

Isis latest: At least three leaders of extremist militant group killed in US airstrikes in Iraq

The leader of Isis in Iraq is said to be among those killed

Bedouin people overlook Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which have multiplied over 40 years

Diplomats water down proposals on ending Israel's West Bank occupation in attempt to avoid US veto at UN

The amended Palestinian plan has wide European support

Isis has made huge profits from captured oilfields

Syria conflict: 230 bodies 'found in mass grave' in eastern Deir al-Zour province

The tribe is from Deir al-Zor province has around 70,000 members

British embassy staff in the United Arab Emirates posted the poem on twitter

British embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for those holidaying in UAE this Christmas

Staff hope to keep tourists out of trouble by highlighting potential cultural pitfalls with a play on the classic poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas'

An airliner comes in to land at Heathrow Airport

Police stop 15-year-old girl on her way to Syria by intercepting plane as it taxied down Heathrow runway

Counter-terror officers 'probably saved her life', Met says

Sweden became the first major European country to officially recognise the state of Palestine in October

Palestine recognised as a state 'in principle' by European Parliament in symbolic vote

A resolution passed in support of a 'two-state solution' to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

A statement released by the ministry on Tuesday said the militants had attacked women in the western Iraqi province of Al-Anbar

Isis 'executes scores of women for refusing to marry militants', Iraq ministry claims

Iraq’s Ministry of Human Rights says some of the women were pregnant

Hamas gunmen display their military skills during a rally to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the militant group

Hamas removed from list of terrorist organisations by EU court

Measures allowing asset freezes will stay in force for three months

Lehava members indicted of an arson attack last month on a school where Arabs and Jews study

Israeli police crackdown on far-right anti-Arab group with series of arrests

The group appears to be a reincarnation of the Kach movement

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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas