Michael Gove defends school Bibles scheme

Education Secretary Michael Gove has defended his plan to send copies of the King James Bible to schools across England.

Muslims performing one of the five pillars of Islam, the pilgrimage to Mecca

Robert Fisk: After the Arab Spring, an Islamic Awakening?

More than a decade and a half ago, I travelled to Holland to meet – in the anonymity of a train station café at Leiden, at his request – one of the most brilliant Arab professors of Islamic thought, Nasr Hamid Abu Zeid.

The National Front is staging a comeback amid a rising tide of Islamophobia

National Front aims to revive 70s 'glory days'

In the febrile politics of the 1970s the National Front (NF) ruthlessly exploited working-class fears over immigration to create a far-right threat unseen in Britain since Sir Oswald Mosley.

A man sells second-hand books in Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad

Robert Fisk: The Baghdad street of books that refuses to die

Saad Tahr Hussein rushes me through the narrow alleyway towards Mutanabbi Street, where the concrete wall in front of the central bank hems in the pedestrians. About a thousand Iraqis briefly see – or don't notice – the sly shade of a Brit as he stumbles down the alley. Then, in the square where the statue of old Marouf al-Rasafi, poet and history-debunker under British colonial rule, glares at the crowds, we turn left into the street of books.

Chalk Talk: Headteachers give Michael Gove something to think about

Education Secretary Michael Gove showed a touch of humility when he addressed the annual conference of the Association of School and College Leaders at the weekend.

Toulouse gunman sent killing video to TV station

Films taken by Mohamed Merah, the Toulouse assassin, of his murders were received by the French offices of the al-Jazeera TV station yesterday and handed to the police, the newspaper Le Parisien reported last night.

Mark Steel: No pattern here. Just individual, ghastly mistakes

The case of the soldier who went berserk in Afghanistan and killed 16 people must be utterly baffling to psychiatrists. Who can imagine what might cause someone in a stable environment such as Kandahar, with reliable role models training you to distrust the entire local population as terrorists, and no access to weapons except automatic machine guns, to flip like that? Still, they say it's always in the tranquil places that these things happen.

Mark Steel: That's an awful lot of bad apples

The best way to win the people’s hearts and minds? Burn copies of their holy book

Growing fear of reprisals after US soldier kills 16 civilians in 3am shooting spree

Distraught and furious Afghans vowed vengeance yesterday after a US soldier apparently walked off a Nato base into civilian homes, turning his weapon on the families inside and killing 16 people, nine of them children.

Kim Sengupta: Afghan killings are a boost for the insurgents – and for Karzai

The recent deaths in Afghanistan have been used for the expediencies of realpolitik

Bloodstains in one of the houses allegedly attacked by the US soldier

US soldier 'shoots 16 Afghan civilians including nine children'

President Hamid Karzai said a US service member killed 16 people - nine of them children and three women - in a shooting spree today that he condemned as “an assassination.”

Afghan soldiers, seen here training, will be on their own after international troops withdraw in 2014

Karzai accused of endangering troops by blocking night raids

Nato commanders claim President's demand has hampered vital operations against the Taliban

The vandalised graves at Benghazi Military Cemetery

Afghan and US reports fail to agree on Koran burning

Conflicting conclusions appear to have emerged from two inquiries into the burning of the Koran at Bagram airbase, amid reports that British war graves in Libya were desecrated in retaliation for the mishandling of the holy book.

Two Nato troops killed in Afghanistan

Two American soldiers have been shot dead at a base in Afghanistan, the latest in a series of deaths following the burning of Korans by US soldiers.

Seven killed in Afghanistan Koran burning protests

Seven people were killed today in clashes between Afghan security forces and protesters demonstrating against the burning of Muslim holy books at a Nato military base.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable