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

Five hotels with boats

Sleep soundly, then set sail from these waterside retreats

'Big Bang' machine to be ready by summer

The £4bn "Big Bang" machine, which suffered a catastrophic malfunction soon after being switched on last September, is expected to be restarted in June.

Hadron collider out of action until spring

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva will be out of action until the spring while engineers investigate a fault, it was announced.

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/andy_mcsmith/" target="_blank">Andy McSmith: Black holes provide a big bang of publicity for CERN</a>

I'm sending this blog from one of the most surreal locatons on the planet, the massive CERN centre, near Geneva, where scientists and engineers have designed and built the Large Hadron Collider.

Leading article: The trade talks are over. What now?

The breakdown of the world trade talks in Geneva yesterday is profoundly disappointing to those – including our own Prime Minister – who claimed them as the most important economic negotiations of the new century. Indeed the talks, started in 2001, have lasted most of this century. Little wonder that some of their particpants still hope that they can be revived after a summer pause.

Leading article: Failure need not mean catastrophe

The seven-year long Doha round of world-trade negotiations has been so peppered with "break or make" crises and "do-or-die" showdowns that the average consumer could be forgiven for wishing that they would just expire so that he or she might never again feel obligated to read about the latest spat between President Sarkozy and the EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson or get to grips with the finer arguments over banana preferences.

Book Of A Lifetime: A Country Doctor's Notebook, by Mikhail Bulgakov, translated by Michael Glenny

There are some books, like places, that it's better not to encounter too soon in life. I visited Venice for the first time recently and was moved to tears. Perhaps it was the contrast of so much shimmering colour after the grey-green architecture of Geneva, where I was living, but I prefer to think of it as the impact of beauty, an effect that might have been missed had I been younger.

The Week In Radio: When classic serials are not so classic

There's a disturbing note on the Classic Serial page on the Radio 4 website, explaining that the slot is devoted to "Works which have achieved classic status – or are on their way to achieving it." Hang on – "on their way" to being classics? That could apply to anything; it's like crossing your fingers so it doesn't count. They may as well call it the Classic Serial (Not!).

Sarkozy stirs revolt against Mandelson

The explosive clash of personalities, and policies, between the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the European Union's trade commissioner, Peter Mandelson, is threatening to detonate another European crisis.

Yahoo!'s move to Geneva raises fears about Britain's tax policy

Fears of an exodus of major companies from Britain intensified yesterday after the internet search giant Yahoo! confirmed its decision to move its headquarters from London to Geneva. The US company is understood to want to relocate to Switzerland, where business taxes are much lower than in the UK, to "increase financial performance".

Chasing the Flame, by Samantha Power

Courage in the firing line

Tomorrow never comes

Futuristic concept cars are everywhere at the Geneva Motor Show. Shame you can't drive one. Shame you'll never be able to buy one

Plate With View: Le Deck, Chexbres, Switzerland

THE PLATE

Mental breakdown caused father to kill his daughter

A City high-flyer killed his daughter after suffering a mental breakdown within days of watching the horror film Bug, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

Why buy an Internet telephone?

It's good to talk, says David Phelan, and it's even better if it's cheap too
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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
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General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat