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 – 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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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
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Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
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Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

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Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
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The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there