News Balal was pardoned execution by the family of his victim

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

Geneva II: Iran not in first round of nations for UN Syria peace talks

Iran is not among the “first round” of nations invited to attend Syria peace talks in Switzerland later this month, a UN spokesman said.

Awkward positioning: Francois Hollande goes for a handshake with Austrian President Heinz Fischer but misses the target

Let’s (not) shake on it! Pictures of international snubs prove François Hollande’s popularity problem

Images add insult to ignominy for the man who polls suggest is now the most unpopular French president in history

This Lebanese woman was among those injured in the explosion which claimed the life of Mohamad Chatah in Beirut

Mohamad Chatah - Lebanon's man of dialogue - is murdered in Beirut

Mohamad Chatah died in a car bomb that killed five others

Sound and fury: Saudi Arabia’s concerns over Syria are not necessarily the same as ours

Saudi Arabia considers Syria a proxy war with Iran – and wants the US, and the rest of the world, to lend a hand

Spies like us: Claire Danes and Damian Lewis as Carrie and Brody in Homeland

Homeland accused of damaging relations between 'hostile' US and depicted countries

Iran, Lebanon and Venezuela have criticised 'poisonous' producers

John Kerry said that to suggest that the government had 'abandoned [Mr Levinson] or anybody has abandoned him is simply incorrect... and not helpful'

US has not abandoned ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, says John Kerry

US government is pursuing a “number of different channels” as it seeks to determine whether or not he is alive

Chinese pride: The lunar probe Chang’e-3 landed on the Moon yesterday

One small hop for Mankind as China's Jade Rabbit rover lands on the Moon

China has sent six-wheeled lunar rover to the Moon searching for minerals, but the EU is after something more elusive

Indyplus Video: Iran monkey in space

Iran 'sends second monkey into space'

State television showed images of the rocket blasting off and returning

Gun attack at gas pipeline on Iraq-Iran border leaves 18 dead

15 Iranians and three Iraqis were killed during the gun rampage near Baquba

Robert Levinson: US man missing in Iran ‘was on CIA mission’

An investigation has claimed the retired FBI agent was on an unapproved intelligence gathering mission when he went missing in 2007

UN inspectors arrive in Tehran to visit Iranian nuclear facility

Inspectors from the UN nuclear agency have arrived in Tehran to visit a nuclear facility that has long been off-limits to outside experts, an Iranian news agency has said.

British diplomat Ajay Sharma to visit Iran for first time in two years

Visit by newly-appointed envoy will be first since British embassy in Tehran was stormed by activists in November 2011

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif shakes hands with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva

Oil prices fall in wake of Iran nuclear deal

Brent crude fell as much as $3 a barrel to a four-week low of $108.50

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Video: The official full-length trailer for the Jurassic Park sequel has dropped – two days early

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital