Sport West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka makes an alleged anti-Semitic gesture when celebrating his first goal against West Ham

What is the ‘quenelle’?

The ‘quenelle' is a part-anti-Semitic, part-obscene hand gesture that has spread across France, and has sparked controversy in England since Nicolas Anelka chose the Premier League as a perfect location to demonstrate it.

Eight dead in Afghan suicide attack

A suicide bomber killed eight people and injured four others in an attack on the governor's office in a north-eastern province of Afghanistan today.

'Impetuous, disloyal, and un-French': Chirac attempts coup de grace on Sarkozy

Former President says he seriously considered firing Mr Sarkozy for insubordination but decided to avoid a confrontation

Keep your Arab Spring migrants, May tells France

Theresa May promised "strong practical action" yesterday to prevent migrants fleeing the turmoil in North Africa from reaching Britain.

Atalanta captain cries foul after calls to fight match-fixing

Italy's interior minister Roberto Maroni has demanded the creation of a special task force to combat corruption in Italian football, amid a new series of damaging allegations.

Woman decapitated as Guatemalan gangs hit back after extortion crackdown

The brutal killing of a young woman in Guatemala City has been linked to criminal gangs seeking to warn the government against curbing illegal transport rackets, according to the authorities in the central American country.

Hooligans riot following Polish cup final

Hooligans clashed with police and damaged the stadium after Legia Warsaw won the Polish Cup final 5-4 on penalties against Lech Poznan in Bydgoszcz last night.

France wakes up to a burka ban as Sarkozy unveils a new era

After 61 protester arrests, John Lichfield meets Parisian women affected by the new law

Local elections reverse for Sarkozy

Conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy's party took a drubbing in local elections, seen as a test ahead of next year's presidential vote, and the far-right National Front left its first footprint in France's smallest administrative districts.

Minister insists Islam 'does not belong in Germany'

Chancellor Angela Merkel's newly appointed Interior Minister has reignited an already-heated immigration debate by insisting that Islam "does not belong" in Germany – a country with a resident population of four million Muslims.

Two US airmen shot dead at German airport

A Kosovan gunman shot dead two US Air Force personnel and seriously wounded two others when he opened fire in a bus at Frankfurt airport yesterday – one of the most serious attacks on the American military in Germany in decades.

Two killed in shooting at Frankfurt airport

A gunman shot at US Air Force personnel on a bus outside Frankfurt airport today, killing two airmen and wounding two others before being taken into custody, authorities said.

Four arrested in raids on Eta

Police have arrested four suspected members of the Basque separatist group Eta they believe may have been behind several attacks in recent years.

Five dead in bank burned by Morocco protesters, says government

Morocco's interior minister says five charred bodies were found in a bank set aflame by troublemakers on the sidelines of one of many nationwide protests pushing for more democracy in the kingdom.

Egypt: Minister who led crackdown on protests is among four arrested

Three former ministers were arrested yesterday by Egyptian security forces, including ex-security chief Habib el-Adly, who was widely blamed for the brutality displayed by police trying to quell protests. As the Interior Minister, Mr El-Adly had control of the 500,000-strong security forces, and was the most high-profile of the three to be arrested yesterday as part of an investigation into corruption.

Tunisian Interior Minister removed as leadership tries to calm protests

Police and protesters clashed in the centre of Tunis yesterday, prompting the government to impose a night-time curfew in the region.

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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
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?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

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
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

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
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

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
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

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
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

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

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

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
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

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