Iraq is being rocked by the deadliest wave of bloodshed to hit the country in five years

Twelve children killed in Iraq school bomb blast

Car bombs have struck an elementary school and a police station in northern Iraq, killing 12 children, officials have said.

Suicide bomber pushes Iraq death toll up to 41

Iraq's interior ministry spokesman says a suicide bomber has blown himself up among Shiite pilgrims in northern Baghdad, the deadliest in a series of attacks that have killed 41 people.

Television choices: Rageh Omaar's timely take on the roots of modern conflict in The Ottomans

TV pick of the week: The Ottomans: Europe's Muslim Emperors

The News Matrix: Thursday 3 October 2013

Honours for Dark Knight composer

Aftermath of a car bombing in Kirkuk, northern Iraq, on Wednesday

Exclusive: Iraq still using bogus bomb detectors – and thousands pay the price

More than 4,500 people have been killed since the conviction of UK businessman, James McCormick, in April

Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport has been under plenty of media scrutiny this year

The €20bn mystery: Could Iran be the owner of huge cash stash at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport?

Fraudsters including Armenians, Turks, Kurds, Japanese, members of al-Qa’ida and the Knights of Malta have tried to claim the money, but no one is sure who it belongs to

Almost 1,000 Iraqis killed in September

Nearly 1,000 Iraqis were killed in September, one of the highest monthly death tolls in years, the UN has said. The killings reflect the militants’ determination to rekindle large-scale sectarian conflict.

A UN vehicle transporting a team of weapons inspectors arrives at a hotel in Damascus

Syria crisis: Inspectors begin ambitious task of overseeing destruction of Assad's chemical weapons program

An advance group of international inspectors arrived in Syria on Tuesday to begin the ambitious task of overseeing the destruction of President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons program, kicking off a mission that must navigate the country's bloody civil war as well as the international spotlight.

Ralph in 1958 from 'Ralph Miliband and the Politics of the New Left' by Michael Newman

The Daily Mail vs Ed Miliband - now the flames have really been stoked

Sometimes they print things so myopic that you feel a fly on the wall might learn something genuinely new about human nature

Al-Qa'ida claims responsibility for wave of car bombs across Baghdad which killed 55

Al-Qa'ida's local franchise in Iraq has claimed responsibility for a string of car bombings in Baghdad that killed 55 people.

A policeman examines a vehicle used as a car bomb in Baghdad's Sadr City

Iraq: Wave of car bombs across Baghdad kills at least 51

Day of terror in Iraqi capital as attacks on Shi'ite Muslim areas continue to escalate

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, will try to foil Iran’s moves towards rehabilitation in the international community during a speech at the UN General Assembly aimed at reversing the diplomatic and public opinion gains made by the new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, right

Benjamin Netanyahu flies to US in bid to block Iran’s return to diplomacy

Israeli leader plans to fight ‘the blitz of smiles’ as the US eyes Rouhani talks

The fact that public opinion is against further wars of choice has not gone unnoticed by the military

The Ministry of Defence is taking care to rebrand its image

John Hegley: ‘I was just a bit odd when I was at school’

Poet John Hegley turns 60 this week. He talks about life, work and spuds

Past glory: Erdogan speaks, backed by portraits of himself and Ataturk, earlier this month

How Turkey blew its chance to lead this troubled region

World View: The country could have enhanced its influence and saved a lot of lives. It did the exact opposite

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<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

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One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

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'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
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This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
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Songs from the bell jar

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One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
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Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

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Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
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Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

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Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?