Arts and Entertainment

Aloofness and taxes saw the King lose his head

William Hague warns against Falklands intimidation

The Falkland Islanders must not be intimidated through economic pressure, Foreign Secretary William Hague said today as he increased the pressure on the South American countries which have continued their economic blockade against the islands.

Letters: The risks of Scottish independence

A Scottish vote for independence from England could be made easier, according to Mary Dejevsky (Comment, 23 December), because of the option for Scotland to join the eurozone. But this would result in the Scots escaping the hegemony of a London-based parliament, in which they have disproportionately great elected representation, only for it to be replaced by the hegemony of unelected Brussels bureaucrats.

David Cameron believes that ‘opening up’ the health service will make it a magnet for innovation

David Cameron makes Falklands pledge

David Cameron today pledged Britain would never surrender sovereignty of the Falklands against the wishes of the islanders.

Hague questioned over drone strike intelligence

Lawyers for the son of a victim of CIA drone strikes in Pakistan have written to Foreign Secretary William Hague wanting to know what the UK's policy is on providing intelligence for America's "targeted killing" campaign.

US citizen jailed for insulting Thai monarchy

A US citizen was jailed for two-and-a-half years today for insulting the Thai monarchy, prompting the US Embassy to speak out at the severity of the sentence and say it supported the freedom of expression everywhere in the world.

Leading article: Treaty talk that isolates the UK

Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy are now so used to each other's company that they can almost complete each other's sentences. But their latest emergency tryst to save the euro still managed to spring a few surprises – not least the verve with which they professed their faith in the currency.

Warning as Dublin plans £1.2bn cuts

The Irish Government warned there is no hiding from difficult decisions that need to be taken in the interests of the State and citizens as €1.4 billion (£1.2 billion) spending cuts were outlined.

Saudi Arabia: Driving a 'threat to virgin brides'

If Saudi women are allowed to drive, it will lead to them having premarital sex, a report to a high-level advisory group claims, according to a rights activist.

Angela Merkel with her Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble yesterday

The Merkel plan: I'll save the euro with a federal Europe

Rift between France and Germany opens up after Sarkozy rejects leap towards a European state

Leka, left, in 1997, during the referendum on the monarchy

Leka Zogu: Controversial 'king of the Albanians' who spent most of his life in exile

Leka of Albania was one of the most colourful and controversial characters on the 20th century Balkan scene, and one of the last links with the pre-Second World War Zogist monarchy. He was born in 1939 into a world of deep political crisis, with the government of his father, King Zog, Albania's first king, about to be snuffed out by Mussolini's forces. When Leka was one day old, his father held a great military parade in the capital, Tirana, a great provocation to the Duce in Rome.

Soldiers police the entrance to a polling station in Alexandria yesterday

Egypt embraces its revolutionary day of democracy

Huge turnout and little violence as first poll since the fall of Hosni Mubarak gets under way. Alastair Beach reports from Cairo

Greek referendum puts bailout in peril

Greece will hold a referendum on the debt deal agreed last week by European leaders – a move that puts in jeopardy the wide-ranging package that took months to hammer out.

Album: Red Hot Chili Peppers, I'm With You (Warner Brothers)

It's business as usual, but with diminishing returns, on I'm With You – the result, perhaps, of sticking with the producer Rick Rubin for six albums.

Bahrain reconciliation talks start amid crackdown

Bahrain's Sunni rulers today launched landmark reconciliation talks with the opposition following four months of Shi'ite-led protests for greater rights and harsh crackdowns on dissent in the strategic Gulf kingdom.

Queen guaranteed £35m 'recession-proof' income

The Royal Family is to receive a recession-proof financial deal that guarantees it an annual income of around £35m in future years.

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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor