Voices

Everyone knows that the Assad regime – from father Hafez onwards – has employed torture and executions to preserve the doubtful purity of the Baath party

George Osborne: The Austerity Chancellor, By Janan Ganesh

The dispassionate political player who is 'up for anything'

Police may be allowed to deploy 'two-shot' Tasers

British police officers could soon be armed with more powerful "two-shot" Tasers, it can be disclosed.

'Kafkaesque' government plans to use secret evidence in court threaten principles of open justice, say Amnesty

Government plans to extend the use of secret evidence in court are Kafkaesque and threaten the very principles of fair and open justice, Amnesty International said today.

Forced eviction in China is a gross violation of human rights and cannot be tolerated

Amnesty International's latest study highlights how the Chinese government's attempts to boost the economy have increased the pace of forced evictions nationwide

Amnesty releases satellite images of Syria bombing in Aleppo

Amnesty International has released satellite images showing the extent of artillery bombardment in the Syrian city of Aleppo where rebels are struggling to fight off an offensive by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Somali comedian Abdi Jeylani Malaq who dared mock militants is killed

On one of his recent radio shows, a popular Somali comedian ridiculed commanders of a ruthless Islamist insurgent group that is notorious for forcibly recruiting boys into its ranks and making them fight.

Former BBC World Service presenter Dave Lee Travis kisses the hand of Aung San Suu Kyi during her visit to BBC Broadcasting House in central London

Back in the UK at last, Aung San Suu Kyi warns off unethical investors

Huge crowds greeted Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as she returned to her old home in Oxford

Leading article: Political legitimacy is about more than Eurovision

The Eurovision Song Contest is the most-watched non-sporting competition in the world. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that Azerbaijan's government sees Saturday's gala as a ticket of admission to the community of nations. Nor that President Ilham Aliyev has spent around $134m on a spanking new venue to host the event.

The European Championship trophy

England fans warned after gay pride parade is ambushed by 500 ultra-right hooligans in Ukraine

Gay England football fans travelling to Ukraine for Euro 2012 have been warned to keep a low profile for their own safety.

A soldier and policeman take evasive action as a supporter of ex-president Nasheed hurls back a tear-gas canister

Fury at lobbyists over lucrative work for brutal Maldives regime

Islands' government wants to 'renew' its image in UK and US after months of conflict

DJ Taylor: Fracking is a highly explosive issue

Shale mining might yield cheap gas, but there's one small problem: all fossil fuels run out. Plus, strange influences
Tara Lyle is Policy Adviser at Amnesty International UK

Tara Lyle: Is the European Court of Human Rights the villain it is being presented as?

If the European Court of Human Rights were a celebrity, it would have likely hired Max Clifford by now, and together they would have broken the record for filling the most law suits for libel and slander

There are daily clashes in Bahrain between police and protesters

Bahrain's rulers split over fate of rights activist

Shadow hangs over Formula One race as hardliners block hunger-striker's release

Activists climb roof of Bahrain Embassy to protest human rights violations and this weekend’s Grand Prix

Two activists managed to climb onto the roof of the Bahrain Embassy in London today in protest at continuing human rights violations inside the Gulf kingdom and the decision by Formula 1 to press ahead with this weekend’s Grand Prix.

Steve Crawshaw: 'The culture of denial was as disturbing then as it remains now. Painful truths need to be accepted'

Steve Crawshaw: Two decades on, Bosnia's war crimes should haunt Europe

The culture of denial was as disturbing then as it remains now. Painful truths need to be accepted

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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
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South Africa
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Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
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