Voices Free Syrian Army fighters carry their weapons as they walk towards the frontline in the refugee camp of Yarmouk, near Damascus

Of its 250,000 Palestinians, scarcely 18,000 now remain; up to 1,500 are dead, many of them due to hunger

Andy Murray has put in plenty of work on court with coach Ivan Lendl in preparation for the Australian Open

Andy Murray gets smooth ride in Australian draw before facing big two

British No 1 has arrived in peak condition for Grand Slam where fitness counts most

Andy Murray: Plays his first competitive game of 2013 in Brisbane as he defends title

Murray: I feel more relaxed after breaking my Slam duck

The brief Christmas which he enjoyed back in a soggy and windswept Britain must feel like a distant memory to Andy Murray. The world No 3 has already made his first appearance of the season, in the warmth of the Middle East, and now he is preparing for his second, in the searing heat of Australia's Sunshine State of Queensland.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal pulls out of Australian Open

World number four has not played since Wimbledon

48 Hours In: Paris

France’s capital celebrates the depths of winter in elegant style, with giant ice skating rinks, festive markets and twinkling lights

48 Hours In: Las Vegas

High-rolling Simon Calder stacks the odds in your favour with this neon-lit attempt to beat the midwinter gloom in the heat of the Nevada desert

US backs new Syrian opposition ahead of conference

The fourth conference for the “Friends of the Syrian People” was set to open today after the US said the new Syrian opposition coalition is the “sole legitimate representative” of the Syrian people.

Lord Monckton was an adviser to Margaret Thatcher

Lord Monckton kicked out of international climate change conference after posing as a delegate

Christopher Monckton, a UK Independence Party activist and dogged critic of the environmentalist movement, has been turned out of an international climate change conference in Qatar after posing as a delegate.

48 Hours In: New Orleans

Winter is the ideal time to visit this grand Mississippi city, with its miraculously preserved French Quarter and diverse, delicious flavours

UN Climate Conference: Fighting climate change is moral, vital, and in our own interests

Amid the political horse trading, politicians ignore climate change at their peril

'Recklessly slow' climate talks as greenhouse gases hit new high

Ministers from nearly 200 countries beginning talks on a new global warming treaty have been warned that progress in dealing with climate change is “recklessly slow”.

Pool with a view: the Melia Hotel

48 Hours In: Dubai

The searing heat of summer has mellowed in the Gulf states, making this Emirati city an appealing choice for some winter sun, says Nick Boulos

Deals of the week: Bath, New York, Doho

Less than £200... Combine Christmas shopping with a stay in Bath. The Abbey Hotel has a two-night break until the end of January (excluding Christmas Day and New Year's Eve), for £125 per person with breakfast and one dinner in the hotel's Allium Brasserie. Abbeyhotelbath.co.uk

Climate change: International differences are ahead

UN climate talks start in Doha

Modest expectations marked the start of UN climate talks Monday, as negotiators and experts all warned that the two-week session would only lay the groundwork for a potentially ambitious global-warming pact by the end of the decade.

Boeing's 787 'Dreamliner'

Exclusive: Date revealed for first scheduled departure of Boeing's 787 'Dreamliner'

The 787 promises a dramatic improvement in passenger comfort, with more space, bigger windows and air pressurised at only 6,000 feet rather than 8,000 feet.

Talks on new climate pact start in Qatar

Attempts to create a new climate treaty failed in Copenhagen three years ago

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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'