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
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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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?