News Balal was pardoned execution by the family of his victim

Samereh Alinejad stopped Balal Abdullah's hanging at the last moment

Sokratis Papastathopoulos (right) in action for Borussia Dortmund

World Cup 2014: Player profile - who is Sokratis Papastathopoulos, the Greece midfielder?

Counting down the 100 players to look out for in Brazil this summer

Javad Nekounam of Iran

World Cup 2014: Player profile - who is Javad Nekounam, the Iran midfielder?

Counting down the 100 players to look out for in Brazil this summer

Iranian Teacher Ali Mohammadian with 8-year-old Mahan Rahimi, in a photo taken before Mahan's classmates followed their teacher and also shaved their hair.

Iranian teacher who shaved his head in solidarity with an ill pupil who went bald becomes a national hero

Ali Mohammadian noticed his pupil was being bullied, and shaved his head to show his support

Browne: the secret report he wrote on the Iranian revolution became required reading at the Foreign Office

Sir Nicholas Browne: Britain's chargé d'affaires in Tehran who faced an angry mob following the fatwa issued on Salman Rushdie

Sir Nicholas Browne was targeted by an angry mob in Tehran in 1989 after the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the killing of the author Salman Rushdie over his book The Satanic Verses. Browne, then the British chargé d'affaires, had to retreat with his staff to the inner rooms of the British embassy as the crowd, variously estimated at between two and ten thousand, hurled debris that smashed the building's windows, only a few yards away from the imposing black-painted outer gates adorned with the Royal Crest. He was forced to call for police protection, though no one was hurt.

The King by Kader Abdolah; book review

A boy enters a palace of a hundred rooms where an assassin may lurk behind every door and shadowy figures are reflected in a Hall of Mirrors.  An astonishing treasure lies at its heart, but powerful enemies are at the gates.

Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif at the World Economic Forum in Davos

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's focus on foreign affairs attracts criticism at home

Supporters fear that in securing Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s consent over a nuclear deal with the West in exchange for some relief from sanctions, he is left with no political capital for domestic reforms

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: William Hague swims around the fishy issue of Iran

To contrast the attitudes of the US Congress and the British Parliament, start with Iran. Today, the palpable welcome by MPs for Tehran’s suspension of high-level  uranium enrichment was matched only by anxiety about the UN excluding Iran from the Syria talks that start today in Switzerland.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during press conference in Moscow on 17 January 2014. He has since called the UN's withdrawal of its invitation to the Syrian peace talks to Iran

Syria peace talks: Russian Foreign Minster says withdrawing Iran's invitation is 'a mistake, but not a catastrophe'

His words come after the UN offered Iran a place at Wednesday's meetings on Sunday, which had been withdrawn by Monday

Syrian opposition back out of peace talks after UN invites Iran to attend

‘Geneva II’ conference could be in jeopardy after UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon invites Iran to preliminary meeting

The eye of the storm: Speakes in the White House in 1982

Larry Speakes: Press secretary to Ronald Reagan who later admitted he had put words into the president’s mouth

An assassination attempt plunged Larry Speakes into the brightest of national spotlights as chief spokesman for President Ronald Reagan. When Reagan’s press secretary James Brady was severely wounded in the 1981 attempt on the president’s life, Speakes was thrust into the eye of the storm. As White House spokesman for six years, a long tenure in the sensitive post, he was credited with 2,000 news media briefings.

In today's relaxed Tehran, headscarves are being worn back from the face

Jack Straw: In Hasan Rouhani’s Iran, you can feel the winds of change

Ex-home secretary Jack Straw returns from a visit to Tehran convinced that it’s time for the West to rethink its relationship with the regime

A 2010 photograph showing an general view of the nuclear power plant in Bushehr, Iran

Iran agrees to daily inspections as it reaches interim nuclear deal with world powers

Decision sets clock running on six-month deadline for a final nuclear agreement, ending crippling sanctions

Deputy to EU foreign policy chief Helga Schmid arriving at the Intercontinetal Hotel in Geneva. Iran and world powers were set for new talks in Geneva on how to implement a landmark deal aimed at containing Tehran's nuclear drive

'Very good' progress made in nuclear talks between EU and Iran

But US says discussions are not over yet

Jack Straw has just returned from Tehran as part of 'well received' UK parliamentary delegation

Britain and US have had 'malign' influences over Iran, says former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw

Veteran politician has just returned from Tehran as part of 'well received' UK parliamentary delegation

Avon and Somerset Police has released this low-resolution image of Saber Haldari, who is wanted in connection with child sex offences in Bristol

Bristol man is 'significant risk to children' say police as they issue manhunt picture

Saber Haldari is believed to be in the country illegally

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Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
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Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
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footballMan City manager would have loved to have signed Argentine
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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities