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

Several injured in Istanbul suicide blast

A suicide bomber blew himself up near police watching over Istanbul's main square today, wounding 22 people, including 10 policemen, officials said.

Two US hikers left behind in Iran will face trial for spying

Two American hikers who have been held in a Tehran prison for more than a year will face trial at the Revolutionary Court early next month charged with espionage and illegally entering the country, their lawyer in Iran confirmed yesterday.

Kurdish rebels tell Turkey: keep your promises or ceasefire is over

Kurdish rebels will end their military ceasefire at the end of the month if Turkey hounds its supporters and prepares for an attempt to rout the group after 26 years of conflict, their leader told The Independent from his mountain hideout in northern Iraq.

Investment Column: Imperial backers can breathe more easily

Gulf Keystone Petroleum; Burst Media

Blast in Iranian city kills at least ten

Ten people died and 57 others were injured when a bomb exploded at military parade in north-western Iran today.

Turkey: Roadside bomb kills nine on minibus

A roadside bomb attack killed nine people travelling in a minibus yesterday in the latest violence to shake Turkey's turbulent south-east, where Kurdish guerrillas have been fighting for autonomy for decades.

Asylum-seekers arrested following daring escape

Two Iraqi refugees facing deportation to Baghdad made a dramatic escape from an asylum detention centre but were recaptured by police using dogs and a helicopter.

My reporting on the Kurds landed me in a Turkish prison

When Jake Hess began investigating human rights abuses, he didn't expect to be locked up and interrogated himself

The Age of Orphans, By Laleh Khadivi

Laleh Khadivi's The Age of Orphans has something in common with Chinua Achebe's masterpiece, Things Fall Apart. It's a historical novel focused on one individual, and shows both the destruction of that individual and the culture which gave him birth.

Patrick Cockburn: Grim stability is the US legacy in Iraq

The civil war had winners and losers and it was the Shia who emerged as the victors

Kurdish rebels kill six soldiers

Kurdish rebels killed six Turkish soldiers and wounded nine in an overnight raid on a military outpost along the border with Iraq, indicating the resilience of their low-level insurgency and the failure of efforts to reach a peace accord. Another soldier died in a separate attack.

Turkish gunships 'kill 12 Kurdish rebels'

Turkish helicopter gunships, backed by ground troops, killed 12 Kurdish rebels during an operation launched after militants ambushed and killed five members of the security forces, the army said yesterday.

Patrick Cockburn: Strike reveals a weakness in the region's growing powerhouse

Just as the world was beginning to notice how Turkey is becoming more powerful and active, Kurdish guerrillas remind everybody of its weaknesses.

Kurdistan reaches out to US and Europe for investment

Investors on the hunt for international opportunities need look no further than Kurdistan, the semi-autonomous region in the north east corner of Iraq. So delegates will be told at the country's two-day trade and investment conference in London this week.

Iraq: the most dangerous place on earth for journalists

Since 2003, persecuted reporters facing new threats to freedom of expression
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Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
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A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
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Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
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Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
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Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
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10 best baking books

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Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

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Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

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Mad Men returns for a final fling

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