Syrian women protest outside the Arab League building yesterday in Cairo

Arab League under fire over Syrian mission

The Arab League's credibility was in jeopardy last night as opposition figures and a senior UN official condemned the bloc's mission to Syria, while Saudi Arabia announced it was withdrawing its monitors from the country, despite the League officially extending its mandate.

Arab League observers urged to stay in Syria

The Arab League is likely to extend the organisation's observer mission in Syria, despite complaints from the Syrian opposition that it has failed to curb bloodshed in the country, two League officials said yesterday.

Arab League considers extension of Syria mission

Syrian government tanks and armored vehicles have pulled back from an embattled mountain town near Damascus, activists and witnesses said today, but at least nine people were killed by security forces elsewhere as a month-long Arab League fact-finding mission expired.

Furore at LSE as Mubarak-era minister turns up at lecture

Politician wanted in Cairo slips out of back door after he is spotted at Arab Spring talk

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak lies on a stretcher. He has complained of poor health

Mubarak and his chiefs must hang, lawyers insist

Prosecution demands death penalty as trial of Egypt's toppled president approaches its end

Portfolio 2011: The year in pictures

The year's most unforgettable photographs

Samira Ibrahim, 25, spoke out against the treatment she received after being arrested

The woman who stopped Egypt's brutal 'virginity tests'

Egypt's military rulers were ordered yesterday to stop the use of "virginity tests" on female detainees after one of the women subjected to the test took them to court.

Alaa Abdel-Fatah met his baby son for the first time on his release

Egyptian blogger freed from military detention

A prominent Egyptian blogger and democracy activist was released from military detention yesterday, nearly two months after his arrest on suspicion of inciting violence sparked outcry at home and abroad.

Tony Blair with Libya’s late Colonel Gaddafi

How the West was caught out by the Arab Spring

The Year of Revolution: In the first of a series of articles on the Middle East's tempestuous year, Donald Macintyre explains how decades of diplomatic strategy was undone by the popular risings

Members of the Serpentine Swimming Club take the plunge in London’s Hyde Park

Balmy Britain is warmer than Athens and Barcelona

Unseasonably mild weather dashed hopes of a White Christmas yesterday.

Egyptians denounce violence against protesters

Several thousand Egyptians rallied in Cairo's central Tahrir Square today to denounce violence against protesters.

The new Prime Minister with Field Marshal Tantawi

'Troublemakers' told they will not derail election

Voters across Egypt were due to go to the polls today for the first democratic elections in more than half a century, despite a political stand-off which could yet derail the country's emergence from decades of dictatorship.

Egypt goes to the polls – with a fresh threat from generals

Voters across Egypt were due to go to the polls today for the first democratic elections in over half a century, despite a political stand-off which could yet derail the country's emergence from decades of dictatorship.

Tear gas and rubber bullets have been used in the latest protests in Tahrir Square

Cabinet offers to resign as bloody confrontations leave at least 33 dead

The Egyptian cabinet offered its resignation last night as deadly riots, which once again have turned parts of central Cairo into a battlefield, continued into the evening, threatening the viability of next week's landmark elections and leaving at least 33 people dead.

Tear gas and rubber bullets have been used in the latest protests in Tahrir Square

Dozens die, the cabinet teeters – and chaos rules

Egypt's army is 'at war with the people' as riots flare again in Cairo

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Day In a Page

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
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home