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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

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Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

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Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
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Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

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60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

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Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

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