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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee