The News Matrix: Monday 13 January 2014

Experts push for Iraq war crimes inquiry

William Hague, left, with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, right, said there had been no ‘systematic’ torture by British troops

Pressure grows for inquiry into UK role in Iraq 'war crimes'

Senior UK military and political figures could end up in the dock as 400 victims denounce 'systemic' use of torture and cruelty

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

Nearly half the people surveyed in Lebanon thought no head covering should be worn by women

Symbol of oppression or expression of faith? How viewpoints on the veil vary

A major new social-attitudes survey on head covering in the Middle East finds that few people are in favour of the burka

Baghdad blast: 12 killed in Iraq army centre explosion

A suicide bomber has blown himself up at a military recruiting centre in Baghdad, killing at least 12 people.

Happier times? April 2011 and President Barack Obama stands in the White House in Washington with Vice President Joe Biden (left) and outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates

White House defends Vice President Joe Biden over criticism from former Defense Secretary

Robert Gates also said Obama's national security team 'took micromanagement and operational meddling to a new level'

A man holds up a dust-covered baby who survived what activists say was an airstrike by forces loyal to the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, in the Duma neighbourhood of Damascus

UN to stop updating death toll in Syria conflict

The organisation said it could no longer guarantee the figures would be accurate

'No genuine strategic vision' in Government's defence policy, say MPs

Britain’s policy on defence has been overwhelmingly driven by the need to cut cost, lacks vision and leads to concerns about how plans were being made to combat the real threats and challenges being faced by the country, an influential parliamentary committee has claimed.

Colleen LaRose and her attorney Mark Wilson, right, are shown in this courtroom sketch during her sentencing hearing in Philadelphia

‘Jihad Jane’ Colleen LaRose jailed over plot to kill cartoonist Lars Vilks

A US woman involved in a plot to kill a Swedish artist who had allegedly offended Muslims has been jailed for 10 years.

Sunni fighters arm themselves with RPG missiles launcher and machine guns as they take up position in Fallujah city, western Iraq

The harm before the storm: Army battles to expel resurgent al-Qa’ida from Iraq

As the wars in Iraq and Syria increasingly become one, Iraqi Prime Minister Nour al-Maliki must restore order before sectarianism worsens

US Secretary of State John Kerry that the United States will support Iraq's fight against al-Qa'ida-linked militants who have overrun two cities, but won't send in American troops

US will support Iraq but won't send in troops, says John Kerry

US Secretary of State says militants are trying to destabilise the region

New wave of bombings in Iraq kill 20

Deadliest attack took place in Baghdad's Shia northern Shaab neighbourhood

Top Iraqi commander vows to re-capture Fallujah and Ramadi after al-Qa'ida-linked fighters take control of key cities

A senior Iraqi military commander has said it will take a few days to fully dislodge al-Qa'ida-linked fighters from two key western cities.

A Sunni Muslim fighter looks at a burning police vehicle during clashes in Ramadi

Iraqis battle al-Qa'ida militant uprising in Ramadi and Fallujah

Iraqi security forces and allied tribesmen battled on Thursday to put down al-Qa'ida-linked gunmen who, in a coordinated surge, ran rampant in two of the country's main Sunni cities, overrunning police stations and sweeping through the streets, emboldened by mounting sectarian tensions between minority Sunnis and the Shiite-led government.

There are many positive lessons the Middle East could learn from Israel's treatment of its Christian population

The Israeli embassy responds to an article by Mira Bar Hillel

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
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Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
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Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas
footballChelsea vs West Ham live kicks off coverage of all 10 of Boxing Day matches
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peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
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Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all