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."

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone