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

Turkish troops kill five Kurdish rebels

Turkey's state-run news agency says Turkish troops have killed five Kurdish rebels in an overnight clash in southeast Turkey.

MUQTADA AL-SADR: The Shia cleric is an influential player, whose support is vital to Nouri al-Maliki

Cleric tries to ease tensions with Kurds

Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr visited the president of the autonomous northern Kurdistan region yesterday seeking to ease tensions between Baghdad and the Kurds that have threatened the coalition government.

Market Report: Stocks linked to Iraqi oil stuck in the political mire

Oil production may be booming in Iraq, but punters were being told yesterday not to get their hopes up. While its government announced that its daily output had moved above 3m barrels for the first time since the 1970s, City scribes were warning that the risks of operating in the country were not being taken seriously enough.

Turkey: 17 killed in rebel clashes

Two Turkish soldiers and 15 Kurdish rebels have been killed in clashes in Sirnak, in the country's south-east.

Shia Muslims prepare for the festival of Ashura on 1 December in Baghdad. Shia festivals were previously banned

Patrick Cockburn: Are we witnessing the final disintegration of Iraq?

World View: Its three main communities – Shia, Sunni and Kurd – cannot seem to run the country together, and yet none can run it alone

Turkish air strike kills 35 in Iraq, say officials

Turkey's air force attacked suspected Kurdish rebel targets across the border in Iraq, the military said Thursday, but Kurdish officials claimed many of the roughly 35 people killed were teenaged smugglers mistaken for guerrillas.

Leading article: Alarming hints of future power struggles in Iraq

The deal the Americans did with the Shia, Sunni and Kurds was always uneasy

Tariq al-Hashemi says the accusations against him are fabrications

Iraqi PM escalates crisis with ultimatum to Kurds

Maliki's demands for handover of rival heighten fears of sectarian strife

Exxon woos GKP to gain Kurdish base

US oil supermajor Exxon Mobil is understood to have sounded out London-listed Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) over a possible deal that could value the Kurdistan-focused group at around £7bn.

Patrick Cockburn: A superpower not strong enough to set Iraq on course

The US invaded Iraq in 2003 in a show of strength after 9/11 to prove it was the world's sole superpower. But the war demonstrated that the US did not have the political and military might to determine the future of Iraq.

Crowds rampage in Iraqi Kurdish city after sermons 

Rioters attacked liquor stores, a massage parlor and hotels after being stirred up by fiery sermons in a predominantly Kurdish city in north Iraq, police officials said today. Pro-government crowds then attacked Islamist party offices in retaliation, they said. 

Baghdad pressed to stop obstructing Kurdistan oil

The British Government waded into the legal battle over control of oil in Kurdistan yesterday, calling on Baghdad to stop obstructing the development of the region's reserves.

Britain asks Iraq to back off after threats to Exxon

Hayward enters row over oilfields after US giant's deal with Kurdish region causes controversy

Chevron to join slick of oil supermajors in Kurdistan

American company set to enter the battle for a share of northern Iraq's massive reserves

Battle looms between US oil giant and Iraq

Baghdad threatens to throw ExxonMobil out after Kurdistan deal

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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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine