News Israel's president Shimon Peres prepares to lay a wreath on the coffin of former prime minister Ariel Sharon

There will be a state memorial service for the former prime minister tomorrow before he is buried in a private ceremony at his ranch

Peace envoy: Blair appoints Ian Smith to Quartet team

Tony Blair has appointed Ian Smith, the former chief executive at Ftse 100 media giant Reed Elsevier, as economic and business adviser to the Quartet, the Middle East peacemaker.

Best celebrity: Natalie Portman

After Lily Allen for New Look and the car crash that was Lindsay Lohan's brief tenure at Emanuel Ungaro, you'd be forgiven for thinking celebrity fashion collaborations were a tasteless marketing technique more in keeping with the days of It-bags and Big Brother than with a more sober, post-Crunch vision of responsible mass consumption. So when 28-year-old Natalie Portman launched a range of vegan shoes (that's to say no leather or other animal products, rather than that they're edible) for green label Te Casan, she too came in for a certain amount of scorn and mockery. But the stylish Mary-Janes and court shoes that she created for the eco-tailor were created with the integrity and drive that marks most of her initiatives – and all profits were donated to environmental charities.

Israeli leak suspect held in secret house arrest

Gagging order in case of woman accused of leaking military information to press

Israeli troops die on Gaza border as cabinet meets

Ministers discuss response to US pressure over East Jerusalem settlements

Leading article: Mr Miliband shows his displeasure

Diplomatic expulsions are unusual. But they are even rarer between friends and allies, which is why the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat marks a nadir in recent relations between our two countries. Even when friendly nations fall out, they try to limit the damage by agreeing not to publicise diplomatic departures. Here, the Government clearly wanted not only to communicate its displeasure to Israel but to broadcast it loud and clear to the British public.

Clone wars: Mossad's London chief expelled over forged passports

New details are revealed showing how Israeli security services stole British citizens' identities. Foreign Office advises travellers to Israel that they risk having their passports cloned

Avi Shlaim: Cut off the cash and Israel might behave

President Netanyahu is undermining US interests. The sooner President Obama makes his support conditional, the better

Netanyahu heads to US as settlement row rumbles on

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is expected to meet top US administration figures in Washington next week after sharp international condemnation yesterday of his government's most recent plans to expand a Jewish settlement.

Tony Blair and Hillary Clinton hope package will unlock Middle East talks

Two members of the international quartet of Middle East mediators suggested today that stalled indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians may be unblocked in coming days.

Ramat Shlomo: Inside the town that will test Obama to the limit

The US President wants the expansion of Ramat Shlomo to stop immediately. But its Jewish residents tell Donald Macintyre that the land was given to them – by God

Benjamin Netanyahu in-law calls US President 'anti-Semitic'

The brother-in-law of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, yesterday accused Barack Obama, the US President, of being "anti-Semitic".

US cancels peace talks trip in Israel row

The rift in US-Israel relations deepened today after an American envoy cancelled a visit and Jerusalem insisted it would not back down over building plans at the heart of the row.

Obama runs out of patience with Israel

Settlement issue provokes 'biggest crisis in relations for 35 years'

White House goes on the offensive against Netanyahu

Israel's announcement of new settlements was 'insulting' and 'calculated to undermine' peace talks with Palestinians

Rupert Cornwell: Sound of a window of opportunity being shut

As snubs go, this one takes some beating. Israel's announcement that it plans to build 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem comes at the very moment that US Vice-President Joe Biden is on its soil, talking up prospects for peace.

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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