Life and Style According to the hospital's union secretary, the A&E department resembled a 'M.A.S.H. unit' on Wednesday

Patients were left on trolleys outside the toilets and staff were reduced to tears, according to reports

And relax: modern resorts are expanding their spa options

Senior al-Qa'ida figure Majid al-Majid dies in custody in Lebanon

An army statement said al-Majid died in a military hospital in Beirut

Lebanese soldiers at an explosion site in Sbouba, Bekaa, on 17 December

Lebanese army fires on Syrian helicopters ‘for violating airspace’

Officials say the Syrians were chasing rebels who were trying to sneak into Lebanon

Port of call: Byblos bears traces of its Phoenician past

Church holds no horror for me now

My church aversion probably started as a kid in Lebanon

Civil Defence personnel extinguish a fire at the site of the explosions near the Iranian embassy in Beirut

Beirut bomb blasts kill 23: Iranian Embassy is the target in a widening war between Shia and Sunni

At least 160 people wounded in the two explosions, but could there be a more obvious target for those who curse Hezbollah’s military support for Assad's regime in Damascus?

A new documentary, 'Sleepless Nights', follows the stories of two people caught up in the Lebanese civil war

Postcard from...Beirut

Iskander Zakharia was 26 in May 1985, when three armed men came to his family’s home to “ask him some questions”. “We’ve not seen him since,” says his sister Lina, “but we believe he is still alive.”

My boarding school was awful, and it still is

I went back to my old school on Saturday. My boy's school was playing rugby there and I'm an enthusiastic observer of him being trampled upon and kicked by other children – I think my old school called it character-building. I turned down the familiar road and the memories came flooding back.

Postcard from...Beirut

It would have been the kind of party Beirut is famous for – despite US strikes and the civil war in Syria on its doorstep, nothing can get this country down.

Marianne Faithfull pictured in March 2013

Marianne Faithfull cancels concerts after breaking her back

Singer and actress Marianne Faithfull is recovering after breaking a bone in her back in an accident.

Ted Baker is beating the forecasts

Fashion followers around the world helped Ted Baker smash forecasts with retail sales growth of 30.7 per cent. The fashion chain's UK, overseas and website businesses the City expected for the 20 weeks to 15 June and the shares soared more than 15 per cent to 1,700p.

Rockets strike Hezbollah stronghold sparking fears that Syria conflict is spreading

Hezbollah has heavy backing from Shia Iran, with analysts in the region fearing that the Syrian conflict is turning into a proxy war in the region

First Al-Sweady witnesses to appear

The first Iraqi witnesses will start giving evidence before the Al-Sweady inquiry today, on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the invasion.

Postcard from... Berlin

Anyone who has been on the streets of Berlin on New Year's Eve will know that the experience is exciting, if not easy. For most of the year Germany enforces strict controls on the sale and use of fireworks. But these are waived for New Year celebrations and every corner shop suddenly has a host of firecrackers, rockets and other pyrotechnics on sale to the general public.

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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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

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
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month