UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says ‘fighting has set Syria back decades’

World Cup shorts

Letter: Gulf hostage row

Sir: Kate Watson-Smyth reports (16 July) that BA has been ordered to pay compensation to French people held hostage in the Gulf following the capture of flight BA149 in Kuwait on 2 August 1990. She quotes a BA spokesman as saying that the French decision "differs from the interpretation of courts in other countries".

Letter: Fateful flight

Sir: Iraq had not declared war on Kuwait a few hours before our flight

Kuwait vote helps women's cause

THE FEW Kuwaitis who are allowed to vote took a short, surprising step towards the modern world yesterday. Of Kuwait's 793,000 citizens, only 113,000 are enfranchised, all of them men, over 21 and able to trace their local roots back several generations.

Kuwaiti Sheikh to fight ruling

SHEIKH Fahad Al-Sabah - the member of Kuwait's royal family caught in a web of financial intrigue - plans to appeal against last week's High Court ruling which found him party to the misappropriation of $900m (pounds 560m) from the Kuwait Investment Office, writes Peter Koenig.

Letter: `Collateral' killing

Letter: `Collateral' killing

Law report: Enforcement of arbitration award

25 May 1999 Westacre Investments Inc v Jugoimport - SDPR Holding Co Ltd Court of Appeal (Lord Justice Waller, Lord Justice Mantell and Sir David Hirst) 12 May 1999

Hoechst merger hits setback

PLANS to merge Hoechst and Rhone-Poulenc, the German and French pharmaceutical giants, were put on hold at the last minute yesterday pending the approval of Hoechst's largest shareholder, the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC). Rhone-Poulenc said its board had approved plans to accelerate a merger but later cancelled a scheduled press conference to explain the deal. The merger, which would create the world's biggest drug maker, would require both companies to sell most of their chemicals businesses during a downturn in the chemicals cycle.

Focus: War in Europe - A very strange way to fight

Nato has turned the rules of warfare on their head. The result so far is the exact opposite of what it intended

Iraq troops head for Kuwait border

IRAQ MOVED large numbers of troops and tanks towards its border with Kuwait yesterday, according to a report last night, increasing the risk of another military clash.
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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own