Life and Style

The EU divides opinion but whatever your views it is important to have your say — through voting in the May election and joining in the Citizens’ Dialogue events around Europe

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.

Opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko talks with pro-European integration protesters at the site of clashes with riot police in Kiev

This is how much a night out with George Clooney costs

Women the world over are falling over themselves for an evening in the silver-tongued actor's scintillating company

West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka makes an alleged anti-Semitic gesture when celebrating his first goal against West Ham

Nicolas Anelka 'quenelle' latest: Romelu Lukaku apologises for comments, claiming there was a 'misunderstanding'

The Toffees had to pull a video from their website in which Lukaku appeared to defend the French striker

An undated image of Edgar Tamayo. Texas executed Tamayo, a Mexican national, on 22 January 2014.

Texas executes Mexican Edgar Tamayo despite pleas from governments

Edgar Tamayo's death was delayed by three hours as the US Supreme Court heard last-minute appeals

How would you feel at the thought of going round to a problem family's home and telling them: 'You're bad parents?'

I think - were I a social worker or headteacher - I would feel queasy at the thought of going round to a problem family’s home and telling them bluntly: “You’re bad parents.”

The riots in August 2011 prompted a debate on police tactics

Police want water cannon to fill 'operational gap' despite 'limited use' in riots

They are seen as a less dangerous option to dog teams or riot police

Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif at the World Economic Forum in Davos

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's focus on foreign affairs attracts criticism at home

Supporters fear that in securing Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s consent over a nuclear deal with the West in exchange for some relief from sanctions, he is left with no political capital for domestic reforms

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers his special address at the opening session of the World Economic Forum in Davos

Japanese premier Shinzo Abe compares tension between Tokyo and Beijing to that in Europe before First World War

Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe sent a shiver through the global diplomatic community today, by explicitly comparing tensions between Tokyo and Beijing to animosity between European powers in the run-up to the First World War.

Xu Zhiyong is charged with ‘gathering a crowd to disturb order’, and could face five years in prison

Xu Zhiyong trial: Chinese activist and lawyer make ‘silent protest’ in court

Mr Xu is charged with 'gathering a crowd to disturb public order', punishable by up to five years in prison

Bernard Randall appears in the Entebbe Chief Magistrates Court on 18 November, on charges of 'trafficking obscene publications'. He was cleared of the charges on Wednesday, and it is thought he will be deported to Britain on Thursday.

Briton charged with breaking Uganda's anti-gay laws after intimate images of him appeared in a newspaper is to be deported to the UK

Magistrate orders that the charges be dropped and that the former computer analyst be deported from the east African country on the basis that his visa has expired

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon (centre) welcomes delegates hoping to bring an end to Syria’s civil war to the Montreux Palace Hotel in Switzerland

Syria peace talks: John Kerry leads calls for removal of President Bashar al-Assad

The Geneva II peace talks witness bitter opening exchanges from both sides

The Creation of Anne Boleyn by Susan Bordo, book review: 'The beheaded queen who continues to bewitch and bother'

I hadn't realised – until I read this book – how much work Henry VIII's marital problems caused the stonemasons of Hampton Court. After years of carving the letters H&C all over the place, Henry got rid of Catherine of Aragon, so the Cs had to be reworked as As. But, no sooner was the last A in place than Anne Boleyn was executed on Tower Hill and the As had to become Js to suit Jane Seymour, who promptly died in childbirth. And there were still three more queens to go, so, lots more chiseling, presumably.

A rights tussle: Peter Tatchell attempts to arrest Robert Mugabe in 1999, in London

How to make a citizen's arrest

The latest attempt to make a citizen's arrest on Tony Blair is saluted by campaigner Peter Tatchell, who was beaten unconscious in his attempt to apprehend President Mugabe

West Bromwich Albion's Irish defender Steven Reid falls to the ground as he challenges Everton's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku

Everton distance themselves after Romelu Lukaku appears to defend Nicolas Anelka 'quenelle' gesture

The on-loan Chelsea striker appeared to suggest the furore had been blown out of proportion in a video on Everton's website

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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
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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