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
Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week