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"

The Cayman Islands in the Caribbean has a reputation as a tax haven

Truth and lies in the Cayman Islands: Tax haven’s former police chief calls for corruption inquiry documents to be released

For the career diplomat nearing retirement, there are worse postings than the Cayman Islands.

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Margaret Thatcher as it arrives to be laid at the Crypt Chapel of St Mary Undercoft in the Houses of Parliament

Margaret Thatcher's funeral will be Who's Who of surviving Cold War warriors

But current foreign leaders are less well represented at service

The coffin of British former prime minister Margaret Thatcher rests in the Crypt Chapel of St Mary Undercroft beneath the Houses of Parliament

Argentinian ambassador Alicia Castro rejects invite to Margaret Thatcher's funeral

No former American Presidents will be present after Bill Clinton, George Bush and his son George W Bush declined invitations

An Afghan policeman attached with US soldiers holds his machine gun during a patrol along the outskirts of Kandahar City

MPs fear Afghanistan civil war after withdrawal

Afghanistan could descend into civil war and corruption and drugs trading could continue to cause problems once coalition forces withdraw from the country in less than two years' time, a report from the Defence Select Committee warned today.

National Union of Teachers gives unanimous vote of no confidence in Education Secretary Michael Gove

Motion is first time in NUT's 143-year history union has taken such a step over Education Secretary

QTWTAIN: Could Angelina Jolie be the first female US President?

William Hague and Angelina Jolie to highlight problem of warzone rape on visit to Africa

Foreign secretary William Hague will travel with Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie to Africa this week to raise awareness of warzone rape.

Opposition leader quits as rifts deepen within
Syria's rebel coalition

Moaz al-Khatib urged to remain as head of alliance trying to form transition government

Foreign Minister William Hague speaks to the media as he departs the GYMNICH, an Informal Meeting of European Union Foreign Ministers at Dublin Castle

EU flounders as Syrian death toll mounts

European foreign ministers meeting in Dublin fail to agree over lifting the arms ban for rebels fighting the Assad regime

Nick Clegg will announce the crackdown on immigration

Paywall UK: Nick Clegg's security bonds for immigrants attacked as 'unworkable, impractical and discriminatory'

Visitors from 'high risk' nations to be asked for deposits of £1,000 or more

Sheared wool symbolising the cuts outside the Cypriot Parliament

They want to humiliate us, to destroy our dignity, say protesters

Angry mobs lower the German flag and draw swastikas in anti-EU demonstrations

Department for Education's (DfE) permanent secretary Chris Wormald appears before the Commons education select committee

Top civil servant Chris Wormald admits he never told Education Secretary Michael Gove about abusive behaviour allegations against special adviser

The Education Secretary Michael Gove was never told about allegations of abusive behaviour by one of his senior special advisers, the head of his department admitted today.

A Nigerian Islamist group has released screen shots of a video purporting to show dead hostages

British hostage likely to be dead in 'act of cold-blooded murder' by extremist group Ansaru in Nigeria says William Hague

A Nigerian Islamist militant group's claims to have killed seven foreign hostages were today described as credible by Western governments

International Women’s Day: fearless, female and a force to be reckoned with

Hey ladies, it’s our day today. Some might say that half the population need more than just 24 hours... and we’d agree. But with global events shedding light on women’s rights, and Michelle Obama recognising extraordinary heroines, it’s a small step in the right direction.

Ministers should be given annual performance appraisals, says former head of civil service

Ministers should be given annual performance appraisals to see how well they are doing their jobs, a former head of the civil service said today.

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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