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Detectives said they were "shaken" by "horrific" alleged cases

Arab League considers extension of Syria mission

Syrian government tanks and armored vehicles have pulled back from an embattled mountain town near Damascus, activists and witnesses said today, but at least nine people were killed by security forces elsewhere as a month-long Arab League fact-finding mission expired.

Texas Governor Rick Perry stands with his wife Anita as he announces he is dropping his run for the Republican US presidential nomination

Rick Perry withdraws from Republican presidential race

Texas Governor Rick Perry abandoned his presidential bid and endorsed Newt Gingrich today, just two days before the pivotal South Carolina primary.

Searches of Belgian church property continue in abuse investigation

Belgian authorities searched the administrative offices of the bishops of Bruges and Ghent today, a day after raiding similar offices in three other cities as they investigated whether church officials protected child abusers instead of their victims.

Last night's viewing - The Mystery of Edwin Drood, BBC2; Arena: Dickens on Film BBC4

According to Arena: Dickens on Film, one source of the author's appeal to film-makers was his "constellation of unforgettable grotesques". They are, the narrator continued, "characters every actor wants to play, characters impossible to overact". To which one might reply that while the first clause might be true, the second certainly isn't, and that grotesquery can be one of Dickens' besetting problems on screen. Adaptations of his work often run into trouble with the Dickensian, that caricature view of the writing that you can see in the original illustrations (which, like film or television, necessarily favour the concrete facts of the prose over its flavour). The Mystery of Edwin Drood has one big advantage in this respect, which is that it isn't terribly well known. When he plays John Jasper, Matthew Rhys isn't taking on a distinguished line of predecessors (as anybody playing Micawber would be) and very few of us at home will be waiting to see whether a beloved scene is correctly done.

Rare attacks on Afghan Shiites kill 60

A suicide bomber struck a crowd of Shiite worshippers who packed a Kabul mosque today to mark a holy day, killing at least 56 people, and a second bombing in another city killed four more Shiites.

Germany probes possible Iranian attacks

German prosecutors are investigating information authorities have received that Iran has been planning attacks on American targets inside the country, but has no indication of anything in the works, a spokeswoman said today.

State of the nation: what the views of MBA directors and students can teach us

The MBA is without doubt the international postgraduate business programme. For just over a century it has been the passport to bigger, brighter and better-paid jobs for managers looking to boost their careers. In that time, the MBA sector has developed its own set of values and accepted truths. Salary hikes are the proof of a programme's success. In the US, an MBA should last 24 months as opposed to 12 months in Europe. A high international student intake is a must. But do such sweeping statements truly reflect the reality of the market?

'I had no reason to be suspicious', says victim of top blagging scam

One of the tabloids' favourite "blagging" techniques, known as the "Royal Mail" scam, has been exposed in detail to the Leveson Inquiry.

Underage defendants lose right to anonymity

Juvenile defendants appearing in courts charged with offences relating to riots and looting will no longer have the right to anonymity after new guidance was issued to prosecutors.

Zuckerberg's sister takes aim at internet bullies

Facebook's marketing director and sister of founder Mark Zuckerberg has called for an end to online anonymity to help stop cyber-bullying.

85 killed in youth camp shooting, 7 in Oslo blast

Police arrived at an island massacre about 90 minutes after a gunman first opened fire, slowed because they didn't have quick access to a helicopter and then couldn't find a boat to make their way to the scene just several hundred yards (meters) offshore. The assailant surrendered when police finally reached him, but 82 people died before that.

Pupils making false allegations may face criminal prosecution

Pupils who make malicious accusations against their teachers could face criminal prosecution under new guidance on school discipline issued by the Government.

Letter from the editor: Gambling - It’s a mug’s game

It’s difficult to look at the page 2 graphic without thinking “why them?”. Yes, we should all be generous regarding the good fortune of others, but a more honest human reaction is summed up by Gore Vidal, whom I may have quoted before: “Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little inside”.

Couples seek IVF treatment abroad

Couples desperate for a baby are being forced abroad because of a lack of sperm and egg donors in the UK, researchers say.

Betrayal, Comedy Theatre, London

Kristin Scott Thomas has graced the London stage on three previous occasions – each time to indelible effect.

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Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor