News Browne: the secret report he wrote on the Iranian revolution became required reading at the Foreign Office

Sir Nicholas Browne was targeted by an angry mob in Tehran in 1989 after the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the killing of the author Salman Rushdie over his book The Satanic Verses. Browne, then the British chargé d'affaires, had to retreat with his staff to the inner rooms of the British embassy as the crowd, variously estimated at between two and ten thousand, hurled debris that smashed the building's windows, only a few yards away from the imposing black-painted outer gates adorned with the Royal Crest. He was forced to call for police protection, though no one was hurt.

Andy McSmith's Diary: The less than noble Lord Laird will have few friends left in the House

John Laird, the Ulster Unionist peer caught in a newspaper sting, is going to have to manage without free car parking and access to Parliament’s subsidised bars and dining rooms for four months, after the Lords Privileges Committee found that he had “demonstrated a clear willingness” to use his position for financial gain. Brian Mackenzie, former Durham Chief Constable and a Labour peer, has also been suspended – in his case, for six months.

Argentina accused of ‘bullying’ oil firms

Britain has formally protested to Argentina over a threat to punish oil firms operating off the Falkland Islands with heavy fines, the seizure of assets and jail sentences of up to 15 years.

CCTV live broadcasting footage shows an image (right) of China's first lunar rover transmitted back to the control centre in Beijing after it landed on the moon

Millions in aid to China criticised as ambitious space programme is announced

Figures seen by a newspaper show the UK distributed £27.4 million to the country last year

Kenya: 'Grenade thrown at British tourists in Mombasa'

According to initial reports a number of British travellers escaped the attack near Mombasa after the grenade failed to explode

Damian Lewis has attempted to make amends with Sir Ian McKellen after offending him in a recent interview

Damian Lewis apologises to Sir Ian McKellen after 'fruity actor' jibe

The 'Homeland' star has contacted the Gandalf actor after offending him

The Hull-based trawler, the Gaul, which sank in 1974. Tests are being carried out to discover whether human remains found in Russia are those of missing sailors from the trawler that went down in the Barents Sea off Norway with the loss of 36 men

Closure at last in Cold War mystery? Russian experts test human remains after 39-year hunt for Hull trawlermen

Reason for FV Gaul's demise remains subject of speculation although official 2004 inquiry ruled out conspiracy theories

The Lord of the Rings star was left reeling after the Homeland actor said he did not wish to end up being known as a “fruity actor” who is famed for playing wizards

Sir Ian McKellen hits back at Damian Lewis' 'fruity actor' claims

The Lord of the Rings star was left reeling after the Homeland actor's comments

British diplomat Ajay Sharma to visit Iran for first time in two years

Visit by newly-appointed envoy will be first since British embassy in Tehran was stormed by activists in November 2011

The Prime Minister angered the Chinese regime last year by meeting the Dalai Lama

David Cameron accused of ceding ground on human rights to boost trade with China

David Cameron is preparing to water down Britain’s “ethical” foreign policy towards China as a necessary price to pay for increasing trade with the world’s second-largest economy.

A 'Welcome to Falkland Islands' sign greets visitors

Argentina threatens jail sentences over Falkland Islands oil operations

Argentine embassy in London announces new laws to punish exploration it claims breeches a United Nations resolution

Acid victims' families urge action from Tanzanian authorities

The families of two British teenagers who had acid thrown at them in Zanzibar have expressed their frustration at the “lack of urgency” to identify the men that did it.

Keeping the Litvinenko papers secret will smooth the path of one possible Putin successor

Putin's chief of staff Sergei Ivanov was well known to the murdered double-agent

The News Matrix: Thursday 28 November 2013

Floods bring death and destruction

An aerial view of Gibraltar

Fury as Spanish officers search British diplomatic bag at border with Gibraltar

Foreign Office spokesman described incident as 'serious infringement' of diplomatic protocols

William Hague arrived in Geneva yesterday, saying things were difficult

William Hague plays down deal as Iran nuclear talks ‘critical’

Negotiations between six world powers and Iran aimed at preventing Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon reached a critical stage tonight, after foreign ministers gathered in Geneva in search of a breakthrough on an interim deal.

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Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
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Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
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Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Spain
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links