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

Simon Usborne: £50 premium saved me a bill for £10,000

The pain was bad enough – I'd broken my back in a fall while skiing off-piste – but it could have lasted much longer. The helicopter rescue didn't come cheap. Nor did the morphine, the Swiss hospital, the six seats converted as a stretcher on the flight from Geneva, or the fee for the doctor sent to bring me home.

A back door to beauty: Sion offers a surprising approach to some splendid Swiss skiing

The recorded welcome and safety-instruction message on National Express airport coaches ends with the invitation to "sit back and enjoy the ride". It occurred to me as the 7.05am service left Golders Green Tube station for Stansted that nobody wanting an enjoyable ride would head off around the eastern part of the North Circular Road, with its grim monoculture of retail-park architecture. Certainly it became evident on this trip that the only passengers having a good time were those whose eyes were closed and mouths open.

Airlines boosted by business fares

Airline balance sheets have improved this year in part because of a sharp increase in business class fares, the International Air Transport Association said yesterday.

Warning over 'superbug' strains of TB

A TB time bomb could explode on the world without major efforts to curb drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis, experts warned today.

The science of gardening (as explained to renowned physicists)

It has been described as probably the most important garden in Europe but is open to the public on only one day a year. Now, however, the Garden of Cosmic Speculation developed by American-born landscape architect and historian Charles Jencks may be replicated at the Geneva-based centre of CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research.

Hadron Collider II planned for Circle Line

[ Added at noon on 1 April: Before you read, check the date! ]

London Underground is in talks with the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) about the possibility of using the 23km tunnel of the Circle Line to house a new type of particle accelerator similar to the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva.

Leading article: High maintenance

The search for the "God particle" will have to wait a while longer. The Large Hadron Collider in Geneva is to be switched off for a year at the end of 2011 in order to correct a design problem.

Skoda shows sporty Fabia vRS at Geneva

Skoda has introduced a new high-performance version of the Fabia. The vRS has a 1.4 litre petrol engine fitted with both an engine-driven supercharger and an exhaust-driven turbocharger, a combination that is good for some 180 horsepower. That's enough to propel the vRS, in either hatchback or estate form, to 100km/h (62mph) in just 7.3 seconds. VW's second-generation seven-speed DSG gearbox is fitted, and there are a variety of cosmetic tweaks that distinguish the vRS from other Fabias.

Cadillac expands CTS range

Cadillac introduced the new coupé version of its mid-range CTS to European customers at the Geneva Motor Show this week. The new car shares its wheelbase with the standard four-door saloon but has a lower roof-line and is slightly shorter overall; most of the bodywork is unique to the model. The coupé's standard engine is the 3.6-litre V6, which is the larger of the two options available on the saloon.

Nissan shows the new Micra at Geneva

Nissan has shown its fourth-generation Micra at the Geneva Motor Show. The new car is somewhat more conservative in design than the outgoing model and has echoes of the second-generation "bubble" Micra that was such a strong seller in the Nineties.

Alfa announces new Giulietta for Geneva

Alfa Romeo has released the first official pictures of the Giulietta, the replacement for the Golf-sized 147, which will be shown to the public for the first time at this week's Geneva Motor Show.

Porsche to unveil its new Cayenne at Geneva

Porsche has released details of its second-generation Cayenne SUV. This moved was expected as Volkswagen has already announced a new version of its Touareg, a sister model of the Cayenne. As in the case of the Touareg, the emphasis is on weight reduction, and improved performance and economy.

Vauxhall Ampera to be shown at Geneva

A prototype Vauxhall/Opel Ampera will be displayed at the Geneva Motor Show next week - that's if its electric drive train and range-extending petrol engine prove reliable, because it's being driven to the show from Opel's European headquarters in Rüsselsheim near Frankfurt, a distance of some 370 miles.

Audi to show off Mini rival at Geneva

Audi will launch its Mini-rivalling A1 at the Geneva Motor Show in early March. Unlike the Mini, Fiat 500 and Volkswagen Beetle, though, Audi's new small car won't be a retro design – mainly, perhaps, because there isn't much of a tradition of distinctive small Audis to draw upon.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower