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

Viewpoint: The Old City and Dome of the Rock

48 Hours: Jerusalem

Every step you take in this holy city reveals an aspect of its tangled history.

Sex segregation on the buses divides Israelis

Ultra-Orthodox Jews plan private fleet after woman refuses to sit at the back

Netanyahu attacks bus segregation

Political and religious leaders have been speaking out against ultra-Orthodox Jewish men trying to shunt Israeli women to the back of the bus.

Album: Patrick Wolf, Brumalia EP (Hideout/Mercury) (3/5)

A sort of seasonal addendum to his Lupercalia album (Brumalia being the Roman festival of winter), this seven-track EP takes that album's homesick plea for fellowship, "Together", and gives it a festive slant by following it with "Time of Year", a like-minded song for absent friends at Christmas, especially the military.

A view of the politically sensitive Palestinian area of Silwan

Stories from the Old City: 'We are not living like human beings'

A 60-year-old law is being used to evict Palestinian families and expand Jewish settlements in the coveted suburbs of East Jerusalem

Palestinians board settlers' bus in civil rights protest

Six Palestinians seeking to emulate the "freedom rides" in the segregated southern United States of the 1960s by travelling in a West Bank-to-Jerusalem bus alongside Jewish settlers were arrested by Israeli police yesterday.

Light rail finally rolls in Jerusalem

The Jerusalem municipality says a long-awaited light rail system is beginning operation after years of delays, inconvenient archaeological finds and political haggling.

Leading article: They tore down that wall

It is 50 years ago today that Berliners awoke to find their city divided by a wall, which became higher, more forbidding and more murderous by the year.

Palestinians attack East Jerusalem settlement approval

The Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has accused Israel of "a total disregard for Palestinian rights" after its Interior Ministry announced the approval for the construction of more than 4,000 housing units in East Jerusalem.

Israel plan housing in disputed east Jerusalem

Israel's interior minister has given final authorisation to build 1,600 apartments in disputed east Jerusalem and will approve 2,700 more in days, officials said today.

A pint in one hand, a Tony in the other: Jerusalem's real star

Micky Lay was the inspiration for Mark Rylance's award-winning role – and he's got the gong to prove it. Tom Peck met him

Rylance gives away his Tony to Wiltshire builder

It was hardly Broadway, but yesterday in his local pub where he has been routinely banned over the past three decades, Mickey Lay, 71, was celebrating his improbable entry into the annals of theatre history in the way he knows best – with a few pints of lager.

Israel: Religious paper bans women from event

Women hoping to attend a management conference in Jerusalem last week were shocked to discover that the event was closed to females.

Cost-cutting exercise sees Blair on move – into millionaires' row

After four years in five-star luxury, Tony Blair is moving out of the American Colony Hotel into a purpose-built seven-storey building now under construction in Sheikh Jarrah: the millionaires' row of East Jerusalem.

Last Weekend: Bridgwater boy who helped Britannia rule

Rio and New Orleans may not quite quake in their fancy boots at the assertion by this Somerset market town that it is the "Home of Carnival". Nevertheless, I arrived last weekend for the first time to Bridgwater's tidy little station to find a touch of the exotic: not the model-railway shop on Platform 2, but the Pythonesque portraits on the opposite side of the tracks, part of a project called "Trains of Thought".

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Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

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Revellers will have to pay to see New Year's Eve fireworks in London

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona from £949pp
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro from £799pp
Provence from £599pp
Apulia, Lecce and Vieste – Undiscovered Italy from £899pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples from £759
Classical Spain from £539pp
Prices correct as of 12 September 2014
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
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Reach for the skies

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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
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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
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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
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

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Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week