News Demonstrators protest against the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad outside the UN offices in Geneva during the talks on Friday

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

English Romantic poet George Gordon Noel Byron, known as Lord Byron (1788 - 1824) being visited by his muse

Mad, bad and delightful to know: How Lord Byron became a cultural superstar

As Lord Byron takes centre stage in the West End, Boyd Tonkin explains how an outspoken champion of the poor became a cultural superstar.

Bloody Poetry, Jermyn Street Theatre, London

The hotel on the other side of Lake Geneva cashed in on the delicious shamelessness of it. They hired out binoculars so that tourists could gawp pruriently at the Villa Diodati and its scandalous summer menage of the Shelleys; the "mad, bad, and dangerous to know" Byron, and Claire Clairmont, Mary Shelley's half-sister, who had slept with both poets and was carrying Byron's baby. 

Switzerland: 137 pardoned over rescue of Jews

More than 100 people, judged to be criminals because they helped Jews escape Nazi persecution during the Second World War, have had their names cleared by a Swiss commission.

Gaddafi's death breached the law, says Russia

World Reaction

Jaguar E-Type

Jaguar introduces extreme XKR-S

Jaguar has announced its most powerful and fastest production car yet, the XKR-S. Capable of breaking the symbolic 300km/h (186mph) barrier, the new model is also capable of reaching 60mph from rest in 4.2 seconds. Its supercharged V8 engine produces 550 horsepower and 680 Newton metres of torque. A special exhaust system “rewards the enthusiastic driver with dramatic, motorsport-inspired aural feedback”. Uprated suspension, wheels and steering are fitted and there are aerodynamic modifications to help maintain stability at speed.

Pillarless Ford B-Max impresses in Geneva

Ford's small B-Max MPV is wowing visitors to the Geneva Motor Show with two big innovations that are bound to worry competitors with less adventurous designs.

Racing legend Jackie Stewart taken ill on flight

Motor racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart was taken to hospital today after falling ill while flying home from the Geneva Motor Show.

One extreme to the other: Geneva puts the slump behind it

Supercars go bumper-to-bumper with city runarounds at the European industry's big event of the year. Sarah Arnott reports

The doctor who turned his back on a 'God-given' role to save life

Japanese army doctor Shiro Ishii ran the notorious Unit 731 and was responsible for gruesome human experiments designed to develop Japan's germ warfare systems. Like his Nazi counterpart, Josef Mengele, Ishii never faced justice. He escaped prosecution after the war because the United States offered immunity in return for information on the programmes on humans that they were unable to carry out themselves. He was allowed to continue his medical research in Japan after the war and died of natural causes in 1959, aged 67.

Rolls-Royce to electrify Geneva Motor Show

Luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce, part of the BMW Group, has confirmed the development of 102EX, a one-off, fully electric-powered version of its Phantom limousine which will debut at the Geneva Motor Show next week.

Google offers $50,000 prize in search for young Einsteins

Future Einsteins of the world, Google needs you. The California internet giant already has a reputation for progressive employment policies with its bean-bag culture, lava-lamp filled offices and insistence that engineers spend 20 per cent of their year working on something that interests them personally.

Battles of a book: The King James Bible's history of dissent and inspiration

A spy named Henry Phillips betrayed one of the greatest of all English writers – the only one, perhaps, whose phrases by the dozen still fill the mouths of many millions of English speakers every day. Charged with heresy and treason, Phillips's victim was picked up in Antwerp and imprisoned outside Brussels. His detention came, a deal between monarchs, as a result of the sort of inter-state solidarity against alleged subversives that now gives us the European Arrest Warrant. After months in his fortress jail, he went on trial and received the inevitable death sentence. He was strangled at the stake with an iron chain. Then his corpse was burnt. According to legend, the translator and reformer William Tyndale ended his life in September 1536 with the words: "Lord, open the king of England's eyes."

HEC Geneva

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

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