News Iranian Teacher Ali Mohammadian with 8-year-old Mahan Rahimi, in a photo taken before Mahan's classmates followed their teacher and also shaved their hair.

Ali Mohammadian noticed his pupil was being bullied, and shaved his head to show his support

These shepherds, with their 500-strong flock, were stuck for three days due to the heavy snowfall

Postcard from... Turkey

The coach journey from Diyarbakir to Erbil is an arduous one on the best of days. It takes around 12 hours to travel between the two Kurdish cities in Turkey and Iraq, with regular stops for tea and a lengthy wait on the border.

Market Report: Gulf Keystone puts on a victory spurt

Usually punters need news of fresh oil to get them excited, but yesterday it was a court case in London that sent Gulf Keystone Petroleum spurting up more than 16 per cent.

Market Report: Gulf Keystone cops it as boss sells down

Todd Kozel led by example yesterday. News that the boss of Gulf Keystone Petroleum had transferred the bulk of his shares in the oil explorer was swiftly followed by punters selling theirs.

Erdogan should pursue lasting truce with the PKK

The conflict between Turkey's government and its Kurdish population will only get worse if no agreement is reached. A ceasefire might last this time

Increased exports in the pipeline for Rothschild's Genel

Genel Energy, the Kurdistan-focused oil producer backed by the financier Nat Rothschild, has announced plans to step up exports next year.

Iraqi civilians and security forces inspect a crater caused by a car bomb attack in Kirkuk, north of Baghdad, Iraq today. A suicide car bomber joined by other suicide attackers on foot assaulted a provincial police headquarters

Suicide bombing attack that kills at least 16 show al-Qa’ida retains its influence in Iraq

Suicide bombers killed at least 16 people outside the police headquarters in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk today in the third such attack in the region in recent weeks.

Thousands of Kurds carry the coffins of the three top Kurdish activists Sakine Cansiz, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Soylemez - shot dead in Paris - in Diyarbakir

Thousands turn out for funerals of Kurdish women shot dead in Paris

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of the Turkish city of Diyarbakır today for the funerals of three female Kurdish activists shot dead in Paris last week.

Iraq to sue Genel Energy over exports

Baghdad is preparing to sue Genel Energy, the oil company run by the former BP chief executive Tony Hayward, for "illegally" exporting some of the oil it produced in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.

Iraqi rescuers work at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Kirkuk city, northern Iraq

Suicide bomber kills 21 in al-Qa'ida attack on Kirkuk

Attack had the hallmarks of al-Qa'ida in Mesopotamia and is aimed at fuelling tensions

Former soldier versus oil baron in £1bn High Court fight

A £1bn High Court fight over an oil group focused on northern Iraq, which involves a former Green Beret and a tycoon who entertains contacts at strip clubs, starts on Wednesday.

Turkey bomb blast death toll rises to 9 as 12-year-old girl dies

A 12-year-old girl became the ninth victim today of a bomb blast in Turkey's southeast, which has highlighted fears that Kurdish rebels seeking self-rule are becoming emboldened by moves toward autonomy by the Kurdish minority in war-torn Syria.

Turkey: Kurdish rebels blamed for car bomb attack

At least seven people were killed and dozens wounded when a car bomb, believed to have been planted by Kurdish separatists, exploded in the south-eastern Turkish city of Gaziantep, near the Syrian border, yesterday.

5 killed in suicide bomb at norther Iraq Shi-ite mosque

A suicide bomber driving a truck attacked a Shi'ite mosque near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul as Friday prayers ended, killing at least five people and wounding 70, police and health officials said.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accused of arming Kurdish separatists for attacks against Turkish government

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been accused of arming Kurdish separatists who have stepped up attacks against the Turkish government - meddling that has the potential to lead to a major inflammation of the conflict outside war-ravaged Syria. 

British tourist released by Kurdish rebels in Turkey

Kurdish rebels have released a British tourist unharmed a day after his abduction in Turkey's south east, officials said today.

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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick