Egypt sees street battles ahead of polls

Egyptian troops blasted protesters with water cannons, tear gas and live ammunition, trying to prevent them from marching on the Defence Ministry in clashes that left one soldier dead and scores of people injured just three weeks ahead of presidential elections.

A man sells second-hand books in Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad

Robert Fisk: The Baghdad street of books that refuses to die

Saad Tahr Hussein rushes me through the narrow alleyway towards Mutanabbi Street, where the concrete wall in front of the central bank hems in the pedestrians. About a thousand Iraqis briefly see – or don't notice – the sly shade of a Brit as he stumbles down the alley. Then, in the square where the statue of old Marouf al-Rasafi, poet and history-debunker under British colonial rule, glares at the crowds, we turn left into the street of books.

Album: Labrinth, Electronic Earth (Syco)

It's not the easiest matter for a producer to step out front as an artist in his or her own right, as can be confirmed by anyone who's searched in vain for a glimmer of personal, defining character on a Mark Ronson album.

Egyptian Christians mourn the death of Pope Shenouda III

Egypt's grief-stricken Christians fear a new wave of persecution

Death of Coptic Pope Shenouda III leaves millions of worshippers around the country without a spiritual leader

75 face trial over football fans' deaths

Prosecutors yesterday ordered 75 people to stand trial for causing the death of 74 fans in the country's worst football disaster.

A protester wears a headband with the word 'Retribution' and holds a noose outside the court

Prosecutor tells Mubarak he faces death by hanging

Ex-President snubs final chance to address court after claims he ordered shooting of protesters

The Golden Scales, By Parker Bilal

Parker Bilal is the pseudonym of the Sudanese novelist Jamal Mahjoub, who, like many "literary" writers, is venturing into the detective genre. The setting is present-day Cairo, where in a broken-down houseboat on the Nile, former police inspector Makana is operating as a reluctant private eye. He has few friends – mainly writers, painters and musicians – and his landlady lives in a shack constructed of old crates and jerry cans.

Arab League considers revival of Syrian mission 

Arab League officials say the 22-member group is considering reviving its suspended observer mission in Syria, expanding it to include monitors from non-Arab, Muslim nations and maybe involvement by the United Nations.

Arab bank head suspected of inciting riot that led to 74 deaths

The chief executive of the London-listed Arab investment bank EFG-Hermes has been prevented from leaving Egypt amid allegations that he could have helped to incite the football riot which killed 74 people last week.

EFG-Hermes CEO stopped at airport over riot

The chief executive of the London-listed Arab investment bank EFG-Hermes has been prevented from leaving Egypt amid allegations that he could have helped to incite the football riot which killed 74 people last week.

Three die in Egypt clashes over deadly soccer riot

Police in Cairo fired salvos of tear gas and birdshot at protesters angry over a deadly soccer riot as fresh clashes on Egyptian streets killed three people on Friday, according to a volunteer doctor and health officials.

Protesters shout slogans at security forces during a protest outside the interior ministry in Cairo

Fans swarm streets in protest at riots 'that were allowed to happen'

Egypt was thrust into a fresh crisis last night as security forces fired tear gas at protesters who returned to the streets of Cairo to demonstrate against the deaths of 74 football supporters on Wednesday.

Protesters shout slogans at security forces during a protest outside the interior ministry in Cairo

Thousands storm ministry in protest at match deaths

Cairo football fans say Port Said catastrophe was reprisal for their part in revolution

'The security staff said the game should just carry on'

"That day the head of security of the Port Said stadium said to us everything is going to be fine," said Diaa Aly, 21, a professional footballer who was watching the Al-Ahly and Al-Masry match on Wednesday evening.

Egyptians protesters confront the riot police outside the interior ministry in Cairo

Fury at army and police over Egypt soccer riot deaths

Egyptian police have fired tear gas at thousands of demonstrators outside the Interior Ministry protesting the security forces' failure to prevent a riot that killed 74 people.

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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
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
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?