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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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
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone