A seagull flies past pope Francis as he arrives for the Angelus noon prayer he celebrates from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Sunday 5 January

Pope Francis announces first visit to Holy Land

Pontiff will travel to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan on May 24-26

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma for eight years, clings to his life.

Ariel Sharon in 'critical condition': Former Israeli Prime Minister's health deteriorates further as blood infection detected

The 85-year-old is experiencing multi-organ failure and has a blood infection, the hospital treating him has confirmed

Ayelet Zurer and Yair Lotan take the lead roles in the Israeli television thriller 'Hostages.

Hostages: The new Israeli thriller that promises to steal Homeland's thunder

The US version of the drama has been bought by Channel 4 and will go head-to-head with the Israeli original on BBC4 on Saturday nights

Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon pictured in 2005

Ariel Sharon in 'critical condition': Former Israeli Prime Minister's 'life in danger'

The Israeli press are reporting that his family have been called to his bedside, as hospital confirms Sharon's medical condition

The News Matrix: Thursday 2 January 2014

Top JP Morgan staff earned £2.1m each

Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon pictured in 2005

Ariel Sharon health: Former Israeli PM's condition deteriorates

The 85-year-old has been in a coma since suffering a devastating stroke in 2006

File: Palestinian children disembark their school bus and walk towards an Israeli checkpoint in East Jerusalem

Israel government 'tortures' children by keeping them in cages, human rights group says

The NGO called for Israel’s definition of torture to be changed after children were kept in outdoor holding pens during winter in a practice which had been going on ‘for months’

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

Clare Short could be arrested the next time she visits Israel, the country's defence minister has warned

Clare Short at risk of arrest in Israel, warns defence minister Moshe Ya’alon

Council for European Palestinian Relations that former International Development Secretary chairs has been outlawed in Israel

Netanyahu faces backlash after Israel releases 26 Palestinian prisoners

Prisoners receive heroes' welcomes on their return to the West Bank and Gaza with officials and jubilant relatives lining up to greet them

Israel and Lebanon exchange cross-border rocket and artillery fire in rare flare-up of violence

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commends his military for ‘quick and forceful’ retaliation

2013 - the year in review: It took his death, but the world came together for a moment for Nelson Mandela

Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel claimed that he couldn’t afford the trip. His absence reminded us of Israel’s closeness to the apartheid regime

Legislation which comes into force on 1 January will make it illegal for the owners of Berlin's estimated 12,000 private holiday apartments to rent them to tourists for short breaks

Rental ban to end Berlin’s reign as holiday lets capital

Berlin’s reputation as one of Europe’s coolest yet cheapest cities has boosted tourism by 275 per cent in only two decades. But Germany’s capital is preparing to turn its back on budget-flight visitors with new rules which will outlaw cut-price private accommodation.

Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot has been cast to play Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman Gal Gadot laughs off critics calling her 'too skinny' for the role

The Israeli actress has started hardcore physical training in preparation for her part

Snow-covered Jerusalem

Postcard from... Jerusalem

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game