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

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

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

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

Snow-covered Jerusalem

Postcard from... Jerusalem

An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man prays at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City during a snowstorm on 13 December 2013

Rare snowstorm leaves Jerusalem in lockdown

A rare snowstorm has blanketed Jerusalem, forcing a lockdown with police blocking access to and from the city.

Children look on as Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal (centre) stands amongst the ruins of a Palestinian home a week after it was demolished by the Israeli authority in East Jerusalem

Israel orders more demolitions of Palestinian flats in Jerusalem

Move to demoliish hundreds of Arab apartments ‘destroying every chance of peace’, says Fatah

Ultra-orthodox Jewish mourners carry the body of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef during his funeral in Jerusalem`

Hundreds of thousands crowd Jerusalem for funeral of leading scholar Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

Yosef had suffered from a variety of medical ailments for several years

Food for thought: Nico Muhly, composer

The American composer is a co-founder of the LA Dance Project, which makes its London debut at Sadler’s Wells this week. His opera Two Boys also opens next month at the Met in New York. He tells Charlotte Cripps  about his current reading, watching and listening ...

Palestinian schoolgirls in class

The big curriculum choice in East Jerusalem's occupied territory: Israeli or Palestinian?

Parents and pupils in occupied territory face a major dilemma

Jurassic World: What would you like to see in the Jurassic Park sequel?

The monstrously successful Jurassic Park series is to be brought back to life (again). Universal Pictures are planning another instalment of dinosaur-based carnage in the fourth sequel, Jurassic World, which will premiere in 2015.

No plot details have been announced at this stage (though the new film will show in 3D), and this blank slate has encouraged us to get in early with a few suggestions for any reading Hollywood executives (you're welcome, Mr Spielberg). Please leave more ideas in the comments - but keep it bitey, and no totally implausible pseudo-science.

Five-minute memoir: The wrong boyfriend

Stuck in a dirty hostel in Jerusalem with an ill man, Tamar Cohen realised the error of her ways

'Israel's ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem is a direct blow to peace efforts' say Palestinian leaders

Palestinian leaders have accused Israel of dealing a “direct blow” to peace efforts after Israeli municipal authorities in Jerusalem decided to allocate more than £11m for the expansion of a settlement in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians see as their future capital.

Israeli Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein suggested the law’s re-use

Israeli law will strip many Arab ‘absentees’ of land

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein decides on criteria for barring West Bank Palestinians from maintaining their properties in Jerusalem

Journalists pay tribute to 'lovely guy' Sky News cameraman Mick Deane killed in Egypt

Sky News journalists this afternoon paid tribute to cameraman and colleague Mick Deane who was shot and killed in Egypt this morning while covering clashes between security forces and pro-Morsi protesters in the Cairo district of Rabaa.

A freed Palestinian prisoner gestures upon his arrival near Erez crossing, between Israel and northern Gaza Strip

Peace talks at risk as Israel approves 900 more settlement homes despite Palestinian prisoners release

Long-awaited negotiations near collapse before they start - even as release of Palestinian prisoners begins

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
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