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

In Jerusalem, even street naming can be divisive

In East Jerusalem, addresses in many Palestinian neighborhoods are nonexistent. Without street names and house numbers, people identify where they live by adjacent landmarks: "opposite the mosque," or "next to the corner bakery."

Ultra-Orthodox students are angry at Eud Barak's plans to end their exemption from military service

Ultra-Orthodox up in arms as Israel prepares to end army exemption

The Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, has announced plans to draft thousands of Ultra-Orthodox students into the army – a move that could set him at loggerheads with the religious parties in the run-up to a general election in January.

Netanyahu chooses date of next Israeli general election

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has chosen January 22 as the date of the next general election, but it could be some time before he discovers the identity of his main challenger.

Netanyahu calls snap general election

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last night called a snap general election, hoping to cash in on his overwhelming popularity and forestall divisive wrangling over spending cuts.

The Crusader States, By Malcolm Barber. Yale, £25

Between 1099 and 1192, an assortment of Western European Christians known as Franks or Crusaders managed to recapture, rule and eventually lose Jerusalem, Antioch, Edessa, Tripoli and the lands surrounding them in Syria, Palestine and the Levant. Known as Outremer, these were Latin and Catholic polities in lands then dominated by Greek Orthodox, or Shia and Sunni Muslim. Malcolm Barber's detailed, fair-minded and scholarly history of this collection of western states in an eastern setting sheds much light on both the period, and its repercussions, which are still with us today.

The Liars' Gospel, By Naomi Alderman

This gripping and visceral novel depicts the life of Christ from a Jewish perspective.

DJ Taylor: Britain is ready for a highbrow PM

Bright politicians should learn that authenticity pays; dirty wars in leafy suburbia; and books that shape generations

Album: Bill Fay, Life Is People (Dead Oceans)

Success in songwriting is as much a lottery as a measure of true quality.

The Blagger's Guide To: Oldies

Will you still need me? Will you still feed me?

Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert cleared of two charges but found guilty of one in corruption case

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has been cleared of the major charges in a corruption trial which forced him from power.

Kathy Burke: 'I'm sick of dramas about crime and murder which always make young actresses take their clothes off'

Kathy comes home

Kathy Burke has written a sitcom about her childhood, but most shows about young women make her puke, she tells James Rampton

Jez Butterworth’s latest play, The River, is billed as bewitching tale involving a remote cabin, a man and woman and a moonless night

How to build a new Jerusalem in an 85-seat theatre

Jez Butterworth's hit play caused a transatlantic stampede – and it won't be easy to catch his new work either

Israel begins rounding up African migrants

Israeli authorities say they have detained dozens of migrants from South Sudan who have entered the country illegally.

Amore

Observations: Popera act Amore are graduating to the big time

Charlotte Church and Katherine Jenkins have done wonders in changing classical music's reputation as stuffy. But will British operatic group Amore succeed in putting the fun back in opera and be the next big opera band?

Lord Rothschild backs occupy activists

Lord Jacob Rothschild, the British investment banker, arts patron and philanthropist, has expressed "sympathy" for the Occupy movement's protests against banks.

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam