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Geneva (geneve)

Syria Geneva II talks: the long road to peace?

At first the talks were delayed for 24 hours, then Syria’s foreign minister threatened to walk out. But last night the two sides agreed to be in the same room. Kim Sengupta reports from Geneva on the UN mission to end the bloodshed

Get me out of here - Cornwall, Valmorel, Jakarta

Now... From now until 23 December, The Cornwall Hotel Spa & Estate in St Austell is offering two-night breaks for £179 per couple. The package includes B&B accommodation, one dinner and complimentary use of the gym, pool and hotel spa. Bookings via 01726 874051. thecornwall.co.uk

Paralysis over action in Syria fuels calls for reform of moribund UN

Staring delegates at the General Assembly in the face this week is a crisis at the heart of the UN system, namely the sclerosis besetting the 15-member Security Council as demonstrated vividly by its inability to respond so far to the civil war in Syria. Not a few among them are taking notice.

Hit or Swiss: Our take on Switzerland's national anthem

A prize of 10,000 Swiss francs, or £7,000 sterling, is being offered by the Swiss Public Welfare Society to whomever writes the best new lyrics to the Swiss national anthem. The one currently in use, the Schweizer Nationalhymne or Swiss Psalm, has lyrics by Leonhard Widmer (1809-67) which err on the side of religiosity and weather: "When the morning skies grow red/And o'er their radiance shed/Thou, O Lord, appeareth in their light/When the Alps glow bright with splendour/Pray to God, to him surrender/For you feel and understand/That he dwelleth in this land." Critics have remarked that it's a nice hymn, but contains scant details about Swiss life.

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