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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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
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas