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"

Simon Burns, minister responsible for train fares, uses £80,000-a-year chauffeur-driven government car to 'avoid overcrowded trains'

News is likely to provoke more anger from commuters still reeling from the New Year inflation-busting rise in train fares last week.

Irish man dies after falling from balcony in Tenerife

An Irishman has died after apparently falling from a balcony while on holiday in Tenerife.

Military pressure builds on the regime, with government bases falling to rebel assault near the capital Damascus and elsewhere across the country

Envoy calls on Moscow to back transitional regime in Syria

Brahimi says it is time for power transfer – but avoids question of how Assad allies could fit into new set-up

Page 3 Profile: Chuck Hagel, former US senator

The favourite to be Obama's Defence Secretary?

Russia’s parliament approves bill which bans US
adoptions in reprisal for Magnitsky Act

Russia’s parliament has initially approved a bill banning Americans from adopting Russian orphans in reprisal for a US law – the Magnitsky Act – punishing alleged Russian human rights violators.

Syrian arms embargo to be reviewed

Cameron said Britain was leading the way among international efforts as the second-largest donor to humanitarian aid.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigns after fraud charge

Israel's powerful foreign minister announced his resignation from government today, a day after an indictment for breach of trust was filed against him by the country's attorney general, in a move that shakes up the election campaign and heavily impacts Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's election calculations.

Peace will not break out without tough bargaining

There have times in the 22 months of the Syrian uprising when it seemed Bashar al-Assad might have been toppled – only for the rebels to falter, outgunned by his resurgent forces. But now, for the first time, there appears to be a feeling that he too will become a victim of the Arab Spring. Despite its massive superiority in weaponry, and the indiscriminate way it often uses it, the regime is ceding more and more territory to the opposition.

There have been 197 occasions when Spanish ships sailed into the waters of Gibraltar so far in 2012

MPs condemn Spanish 'act of war' over Gibraltar

Spain was accused of an “act of war” today after its naval ships repeatedly entered the territorial waters of Gibraltar.

Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister, Faisal al-Miqdad

The mystery of Syria's missing spokesman: 'He hasn't disappeared. He's just on three months' leave'

Syria has been gripped by the mystery of the missing foreign ministry spokesman. So what's the truth?

Masked gunmen attack opposition protesters as crowds gather for rallies in Egypt

'At least 11 protesters were wounded in the pre-dawn attack'

UN trucks are unloaded at Damascus airport

Syrian rebels say Damascus airport is fair target

Syrian rebels declared Damascus International Airport to be a legitimate target Friday after days of heavy fighting around the facility and warned civilians to stay away.

Michael Misick is led away by police in Rio de Janeiro

Michael Misick: Turks and Caicos premier 'who left office with $180m fortune' arrested

A former premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) whose rule was characterised by adultery, private jets and designer suits, has been arrested on an international warrant.

Hillary Clinton is visiting Stormont

Hillary Clinton condemns recent Norther Ireland violence on the same day police discover bombs in Londonderry and County Down

Continuing tensions in Belfast cast a shadow over a visit to the city by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who condemned recent violence by loyalists complaining of restrictions on the flying of the union jack.

Branko Milinkovic died in front of his country’s diplomatic delegation

Serbia's Nato ambassador jumps to death in Brussels car-park

Branko died in front of his country's diplomatic delegation

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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
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?