Voices In today's relaxed Tehran, headscarves are being worn back from the face

Ex-home secretary Jack Straw returns from a visit to Tehran convinced that it’s time for the West to rethink its relationship with the regime

On guard: Ariel Sharon as a commander in the 1948 war of independence

I shall mourn Ariel Sharon's life, not his death

Sharon deliberately deceived his Cabinet. He devastated Beirut, leaving 300 dead in a day and looked on approvingly as fascist militias entered refugee camps to rape, murder and torture thousands of Palestinians

The News Matrix: Monday 13 January 2014

Experts push for Iraq war crimes inquiry

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pauses during the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma for eight years, clings to life after a decline in the functioning of various bodily organs, his doctors say, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014.

Ariel Sharon dies: Former Israeli Prime Minister's life in pictures

By Heather Saul

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has died aged 85, according to Israeli radio, quoting a relative of his family.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pauses during the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma for eight years, clings to life after a decline in the functioning of various bodily organs, his doctors say, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014.

Ariel Sharon dies: Former Israeli Prime Minister's life in pictures

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has died aged 85, according to Israeli radio, quoting a relative of his family.

Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon pictured in 2005

Ariel Sharon dies aged 85: Barack Obama praises former prime minister for 'dedicating his life to the State of Israel'

The former Israeli Prime Minister suffered a rapid deterioration in his condition this week, which caused his organs to fail

The News Matrix: Tuesday 7 January 2014

Most Britons back halt to immigration

Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon pictured in 2005

Ariel Sharon in 'critical condition': Former Israeli Prime Minister's 'life in danger'

The Israeli press are reporting that his family have been called to his bedside, as hospital confirms Sharon's medical condition

The News Matrix: Thursday 2 January 2014

Top JP Morgan staff earned £2.1m each

Alexandra Roach as Becky

Utopia: They're coming to get you

New Channel 4 drama Utopia combines conspiracy theories, edge-of-your-seat tension and dark humour with a talented cast. It could turn out to be one of the TV hits of the year

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Mohamed Morsi celebrating his victory in Tahrir Square yesterday

Regardless of whether Obama or Romney wins, America's relations with the Arab World will change

The Long View: Every reader of this article will be dead or of old age before the Arab "revolution" is complete. Palestinians are the only ones not to benefit from it

Was Yasser Arafat murdered? The 'myth' that won't die

Israel says no, but most Palestinians disagree – and now France is investigating. By Donald Macintyre
Highly influential: Elyashiv

Rabbi Yosef Elyashiv: Hardline interpreter of Jewish law

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the highly influential leader of the Lithuanian sect of ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazi Jews, was known for his unyielding hardline rulings on complicated elements of Jewish law. As an eminent Posek, a decider of Jewish law, a title earned not by appointment but by scholarship, reputation and communal trust built up over decades, Elyashiv applied the Torah and Talmudic law to modern times, ruling on conversion, marriage, divorce and even the legitimacy of wigs made in India.

French tenor Gilles Ragon performs during a rehearsal of Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner

Israeli orchestra strikes note of controversy with Wagner work

A seven-decade old cultural taboo will be broken next month when an Israeli symphony orchestra will play works by Richard Wagner inside the country for the first time since the state's foundation in 1948.

Donald Macintyre: History will have more to say on this titanic warrior

It is surprising that the legacy of so titanic a figure as Ariel Sharon does not figure more in Israeli public discourse than it does. But the left never wholly warmed to the scourge of the Palestinians; those on the right, meanwhile, felt bitterly betrayed by his withdrawal from Gaza.

Tim Franks: Is he really biased against <u>both</u> sides in the Middle East?

The BBC's man in Jerusalem and a practising Jew is stepping down. Ian Burrell hears him explain why
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A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
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Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home