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.

Families of former British soldiers held in Indian jail call on government for help

The families of six former British soldiers imprisoned in India after being arrested during “anti-piracy operations” have demanded the UK government intervene to secure their safe return.

Four British nationals killed fighting alongside al-Qa'ida in Syria

Deaths come amid fears extremists could bring radicalising influence to UK

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says Iran will not budge over ‘nuclear rights’

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says he has set 'red lines' for his envoys in Geneva

Latest incident involved a Spanish state research vessel the RV Ramon Margalef

British Government should increase Royal Navy's presence in Gibraltar 'in response to Spanish incursions'

Chief minister of British territory says he would support anything that would have 'deterrent effect' following latest incident

The RV Ramon Margalef is a Spanish state research vessel

Gibraltar: Spanish Ambassador summoned to Foreign Office after 'provocative incursion' by survey ship into Gibraltan waters

'Serious' incident after Spanish state vessel defied orders from Royal Navy to leave

Twitter Alerts: service to help during emergencies, natural disasters comes to the UK

57 organisations have already signed up to the service which first launched in the US, Japan and Korea in September

HMS Daring arrives at Cebu island to join Philippines relief effort

British warship will take aid to previously unassisted remote islands and villages

Baroness Warsi has responsibility for faith communities

Persecution threatens 'extinction' of Christianity in ancient homelands, warns Baroness Warsi

Christianity is threatened by extinction in some parts of the world where Christian communities are persecuted because they are a minority, a Government minister has warned.

Gay rights in Uganda: Retired British man Bernard Randall to stand trial for ‘nonsensical’ Ugandan gay sex picture charges

The 65-year-old from Kent faces ‘mob vigilantism’ and death threats after film of him having sex with another man were stolen from his home

Protesters prevented British reporters travelling to a former war zone

Sri Lanka: Fear and fury as leaders fly in for Commonwealth conference

Minister of Mass Media and Information accuses David Cameron of treating the country 'like a colony'

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova behind bars. She has been missing for more than three weeks

Pussy riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova now missing for more than three weeks – with her disappearance sparking fears some of the Greenpeace 30 could also be 'lost'

Family of British man Iain Rogers say they won’t be happy until all prisoners arrive safely in St Petersburg

Vince Cable will use his talks in Russia to address concerns over the activists' treatment

Cable to address Greenpeace protesters’ arrests in Russia

Business Secretary Vince Cable has promised to use talks with Russian government ministers to highlight UK concerns about the case of Greenpeace protesters awaiting trial for alleged “hooliganism”.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during a news conference after nuclear talks in Geneva

John Kerry: Iran is to blame for failure of Geneva nuclear talks

US Secretary of State said major powers, including France, were united in an offer but Iran 'couldn't take it'

New UK diplomat Ajay Sharma to visit Iran as direct diplomatic links renewed

Britain's new charge d'affaires to Iran is expected to visit the country later this month amid further signs of a thawing in relations.

France was at the centre of a diplomatic storm today after the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, was accused of sabotaging a deal with Iran which would end almost a decade-long standoff over the Iranian nuclear programme

Le Grand Satan? France under fire for tough line on Iran nuclear programme

France was at the centre of a diplomatic storm today after the French Foreign Minister was accused of sabotaging a deal with Iran which would end almost a decade-long standoff over the Iranian nuclear programme.

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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
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Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?