Stephen Foley: Why I'm backing Sachs for World Bank president

US Outlook You have to admire the chutzpah of Jeffrey Sachs, campaigning to be the next president of the World Bank through the op-ed pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post.

DJ Taylor: What the Dickens are we doing in Sri Lanka?

With his bicentenary coming up next month, a gathering in Galle shows how the British Council is retuning its antennae

Rate of abortion is highest in countries where practice is banned

In Africa and Latin America researchers found that 95 to 97 per cent of abortions were unsafe

Atlantic rowers adrift after they run out of oars

Two men trying to row across the Atlantic for charity are adrift in the middle of the ocean after all their oars broke in rough seas.

Leading article: No escaping the dangers of tobacco

Given the history of half-truths and special pleading which characterise the public pronouncements of tobacco companies, many people will find it unsurprising that the latest analysis casts doubt on previous industry-backed studies into the safety of cigarette additives. Indeed, independent scientists now claim that research published by Philip Morris a decade ago actually "obscured findings of toxicity".

The deal was done at the International convention Centre on Sunday. The key players are Todd Stern, US Climate Envoy (front left, looking on), Connie Hedegaard, EU Climate Commissioner (seated at left, right hand raised), Jayanthi Natarajan, Indian Environment Minister (seated at right, looking up at...) Xie Zhenhua, Chinese Climate Minister (standing front right)

Leading article: Durban delivered hope in the end

Right up to the last minute, the danger was that the Climate Change Conference in Durban would end in fiasco or in an agreement so vague as to be meaningless. Instead, when hopes of a global deal looked dashed, European nations – acting with a degree of unanimity over climate change that seems absent from their deliberations on the eurozone – pulled off an agreement that gives new cause for optimism.

Rapidly expanding human population has reduced the number of panthers to just over 100

'Modest' gains as UN climate deal struck

Countries agreed a deal today to push for a new climate treaty, salvaging the latest round of United Nations climate talks from the brink of collapse.

Countries wrangle over CO2 cuts 'wriggle-room'

Negotiators from nearly two hundred countries were still arguing early today over the possibility of a new climate deal forcing all nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.

Lining up alongside the Singology Gospel Choir at the Carols by Candlelight event in Mayfair was a proud moment

Crunch time for climate deal talks in Durban

Countries were today locked in debate over whether to press ahead with a new legal climate treaty, as the latest round of UN global warming talks entered their final hours.

Ministers discuss 'emissions gap'

Funding for poor countries and the "emissions gap" are among the topics on the table for government ministers getting down to negotiations on tackling climate change at the latest UN talks.


India emerges as chief opponent of a new global-warming treaty

Country baulks at UN climate conference, concerned about cooling its red-hot economy

George Osborne visits a bicycle shop in Middlesex in a week when the Chancellor described growth of 0.2 per cent as 'positive'

Mary Dejevsky: Why this obsession with growth?

Growth, growth, growth... The regrettable lack of it and the imperative to encourage it were the guiding themes of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, as they have been of practically anything anyone has said about the economy for years. Higher growth boosts national wealth and national morale; falling growth pushes countries into recession, which makes them feel, deservedly, very bad. So runs the consensus.

Jeremy Laurance: States need to back up fine words with hard cash if great leap forward is not to be wasted

The gap between rhetoric and reality on Aids has widened to a chasm. While politicians proclaim huge advances – Hillary Clinton speaks of a "historic opportunity to change the course of the pandemic" – governments, including her own, are buckling in the economic storm sweeping the globe and funds are being slashed. A historic opportunity looks like becoming an opportunity grievously missed.

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy launches the Born HIV Free campaign last year

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy: Mothers, babies and HIV

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, France's first lady, is one the world's best known Aids campaigners. Here, she answers questions about her work from The Independent.

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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada