Ariel Sharon dead: How Israel's 'sleeping giant' was kept in a coma for eight years

From being struck down by the stroke in January 2006 to his eventual death, the iconic leader refused to go quickly. Jeremy Laurance on Ariel Sharon's medical journey

Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon pictured in 2005

Timeline: The life of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

From son of Russian immigrants to one of Israel's most influential and controversial leaders

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pauses during the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma for eight years, clings to life after a decline in the functioning of various bodily organs, his doctors say, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014.

Ariel Sharon dies: Former Israeli Prime Minister's life in pictures

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has died aged 85, according to Israeli radio, quoting a relative of his family.

Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon pictured in 2005

Ariel Sharon dies aged 85: Barack Obama praises former prime minister for 'dedicating his life to the State of Israel'

The former Israeli Prime Minister suffered a rapid deterioration in his condition this week, which caused his organs to fail

US jobs shock creates doubt over Federal Reserve taper

A weak jobs report sent US government bond yields tumbling on Friday and created fresh uncertainty over the pace of the Federal Reserve’s tapering of its monetary stimulus programme.

National Crime Agency reins in attempts to seize tycoon Israel Perry’s assets

The new National Crime Agency is facing a major embarrassment after it abandoned most of its attempts to seize the UK and US assets of Israel Perry, the Israeli tycoon who is also suing the agency for £10m for compensation of losses allegedly caused by the lawsuit.

Cineworld announced a merger with a Polish-listed rival

Polish merger makes Cineworld one of Europe's biggest chains

Cineworld announced a merger with a Polish-listed rival that sees it become one of Europe's biggest cinema chains, sending its shares jumping 4 per cent.

Cineworld to buy European cinema chain in £500m deal

Cineworld is set to acquire one of Europe's largest cinema operators in a blockbuster deal that will boost its estate to almost 2,000 screens.

Postcard from... Tel Aviv

US Secretary of State John Kerry in Israel earlier this week

Part broker, part bulldozer: John Kerry’s quest for Middle East peace is about steel as much as soft soap

Currently into his 10th round of shuttle diplomacy, the United States Secretary of State knows the process demands very particular skills

G4S contracts in Israeli occupied territories face major investigation

OECD to examine the controversial firm’s alleged supply of surveillance kit

The News Matrix: Tuesday 7 January 2014

Most Britons back halt to immigration

Nathan Filer, 32, is a lecturer but also works in mental health

Mental health nurse Nathan Filer wins Costa first novel prize with The Shock of the Fall

Nathan Filer's novel explores a man's descent into mental illness

Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon pictured in 2005

Ariel Sharon in critical condition: The former Israeli prime minister needs 'miracle' to survive, hospital spokesperson says

Ariel Sharon needs a “miracle” to survive, the head of Sheba Medical Center, Ze’ev Rotstein, has said.

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

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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own