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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says ‘fighting has set Syria back decades’

Paperback review: Peaches for Monsieur Le Cure, By Joanne Harris

The final volume in Harris’s Chocolat trilogy finds witchy heroine, Vianne Rocher, returning to Lansquenet-sous-Tannes.

President Thein Sein has declared a state of emergency in Meiktila

State of emergency in Burmese city as 20 die in sectarian violence

Burma declared a state of emergency in the central city of Meiktila today after sectarian violence left at least 20 dead, reinforcing fears that the newly democratic country is struggling to contain simmering hatred between majority Buddhists and minority Muslims.

Pyongyang metro station

North Korea: ‘If the US has nuclear weapons, why can’t we?’

North Korea’s nuclear test drew international censure. But Pyongyang rejoiced, says Andrew MacLeod, in a rare dispatch from the pariah state

Marc Dutroux

Release my son and he will start again, serial child-killer Marc Dutroux's mother warns

Paedophile serial killer’s parole request denied by Belgian court after 16 years in prison

The NHS employs more than 1.3 million staff and runs up to 500 hospitals

This sickness is about more than individual failings

It’s tempting to look for scapegoats. But it’s the wider culture that needs addressing

The Last Quarter of the Moon, By Chi Zijian, trans. Bruce Humes

Enter another world with this magical novel of nomadic life as the time of the shaman ends

Tombstone: The Untold Story of Mao's Great Famine, By Yang Jisheng, trans. Stacy Mosher and Guo Jian

This epic work of testimony and investigation lays bare a Communist crime of the century

In a statement today, Jeremy Hunt said: I am disgusted and appalled to read these accounts of what patients and their relatives went through.

Jeremy Hunt 'disgusted and appalled' by reports of neglect at hospital where elderly man died of starvation

Reports claim some patients treated by the Worcestershire Acute NHS Hospital Trust were left thirsty with drinks left out of reach while others were left to sit in their own excrement

North Korea: Images from above the 38th parallel

These eerie pictures from North Korea were taken by photographer David Guttenfelder. He describes what it is like to capture life inside the world's most secretive country.

Syrians queue for bread

Food shortages in Syria send prices soaring

Plenty of food lines the shelves in Abd al-Razzak's warehouse, but only for those who can afford the sky-high prices needed to cover the bribes it took to transport it there.

The persecution of the Rohingya: how a benighted minority in Burma suffer at the hands of despots

A leading advocate for human rights in Burma argues that international ignorance of what is happening in Rakhine State is a tragedy in itself

Tokyo Jungle – Review

A unique experience in the pantheon of the PS3.

Iraqis welcome all-American grub with open mouths

Baghdad's embattled residents can finally get their milkshakes, chili-cheese dogs and buckets of crispy fried chicken – original recipe or extra spicy, of course.

Loyd Grossman quit 'Masterchef' in 2000

Food: Loyd Grossman to star in 'Eggs Factor' show

He has deliberated, cogitated and digested for long enough. More than 10 years after he quit the original Masterchef, Loyd Groooossman of the long vowels will activate his TV tastebuds again as a judge on Simon Cowell's new cookery show.

Powys mother jailed for leaving baby daughter home alone

A mother has been jailed after leaving her baby daughter at home alone while she went out drinking every day for a week over Christmas.

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Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
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Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

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Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
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i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
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Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
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Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
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Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
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BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona from £949pp
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro from £799pp
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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
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories