News Backbench Conservatives MPs have been criticised for supporting a proposed ban on HIV positive immigrants entering Britain

HIV and AIDs campaigners have called the amendment "draconian"

Ahmad al-Jarba, leader of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), speaks to the press in Geneva, Switzerland

Syria rebels say Russia is prepared to drop Assad

The two sides in Syria’s civil war are due to start talking on Friday after three years of savage strife.

The secret 'Dishfire' system can read hundreds of millions of text messages from around the world

NSA leaks: British spies were given access to US 'Dishfire' system that reads hundreds of millions of texts from around the world

The NSA has to delete innocent texts involving Americans from the system but there is no requirement to do so for foreign phone numbers

A small triumph for democracy

Defence procurement has been one of the biggest machines for wasting money

Ambushed: MPs have demanded Philip Hammond allow them to question the candidate for head of defence procurement

MPs move to vet candidates for top jobs

Select committees seek wider scrutiny of applicants for leading public-sector roles and less government influence

David Cameron with Sajid Raza on a visit to Kings Science Academy

Kings Science Academy free school founder arrested over alleged fraud

Police say a 41-year-old man has been arrested in connection with their investigations into Bradford school's finances

Thomas Hitzlsperger with the Germany team

Thomas Hitzlsperger gay: The reaction in Germany after former Aston Villa player comes out

The former midfielder, who was capped 52 times by Germany, has received widespread support

Geneva II: Iran not in first round of nations for UN Syria peace talks

Iran is not among the “first round” of nations invited to attend Syria peace talks in Switzerland later this month, a UN spokesman said.

A displaced family camp under a tree providing partial shade from the midday sun

South Sudan ceasefire talks delayed

Mediators said it was now unclear if South Sudanese rebels would start face-to-face peace talks with the government on Saturday, dampening hopes of a swift end to weeks of ethnic fighting in the world's youngest state.

South Sudanese soldiers in Malakal, 497km from Juba

'Back from the brink': South Sudan's warring rivals to begin peace talks

Negotiators meet in Ethiopia as UN calls for end to fighting during which more than 1,000 people have been killed

Children displaced by the fighting in South Sudan wait behind the fence of the United Nations Mission facility on the outskirts of the capital Juba. Tens of thousands of refugees have fled the crisis

UN votes unanimously for more peacekeepers for South Sudan amid reports of mass graves, extrajudicial killings and rapes

Reports have moved the UN to action as tensions between ethnic Dinka and Nuer in the world’s newest nation escalate

French troops patrol in a street of the Muslim PK-5 district in Bangui

EU divided over French plea for CAR military aid

No direct pledges of military intervention in Central African Republic after Brussels meeting

Protesters face a police barricade near the parliament buildings in Bangkok

Thailand protests: Long shadow of the 'Thaksin regime' prompts new crackdowns in Bangkok

Protesters overrun government ministries in an attempt to topple Yingluck Shinawatra, prompting the Prime Minister to declare a new emergency security law

Sir Jeremy Heywood believes part of the responsibility for the failures in the Government's universal credit programme lay with Iain Duncan Smith

Exclusive: Top mandarin hits back at Iain Duncan Smith over universal credit smears

Sir Jeremy personally intervenes to stop Work and Pensions Secretary blaming Robert Devereux for universal credit programme debacle

Egypt expels Turkish ambassador following Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's call for release of Mohammed Morsi

Move comes a say after Turkish PM calls for release of Mohammed Morsi

William Hague arrived in Geneva yesterday, saying things were difficult

William Hague plays down deal as Iran nuclear talks ‘critical’

Negotiations between six world powers and Iran aimed at preventing Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon reached a critical stage tonight, after foreign ministers gathered in Geneva in search of a breakthrough on an interim deal.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
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A Bible for billionaires

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Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
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Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
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The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
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We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
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The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn