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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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

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Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
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