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Many of us will have booked our holidays by now and bought the sun-cream too. But what to read under the palm tree or on the beach or the staycation sofa?

Russia and US unite to push for Syria ceasefire as Kerry and Lavrov meet in Paris

Powers call for humanitarian aid as rebels fight each other

Gunmen assassinate Libyan deputy industry minister

Gunmen assassinated Libya's deputy industry minister as he drove home from shopping in the coastal city of Sirte late on Saturday in an attack security officials blamed on hardline Islamist militants.

Market Report: Rise of Royal Mail shares has proved Vince Cable wrong

Three months on and so far the market has proved Vince Cable wrong. Royal Mail shares were one of the top risers on Friday and are now more than 76.6 per cent above their float price.

Best buds Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong-un: He isn't the first to cuddle up to a dictator

Some people will do anything for money

JP Morgan to pay $1.7bn over Bernie Madoff fraud

JPMorgan has agreed a $1.7 billion (approximately £1bn) settlement with US federal authorities for its role in the Bernie Madoff ponzi fraud.

Yvonne Fletcher was shot outside the Libyan embassy

Yvonne Fletcher murder: Government allegedly intercepted order from Gaddafi to 'cover streets of London with blood' but failed to act

The Government faces fresh allegations that it failed to act on an intercepted order from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to open fire on demonstrators at a London protest where a policewoman was murdered.

Mr De Salis's family said they are 'shocked and devastated' by his killing, in a statement released through the Foreign Office

Briton shot dead in Libya named as energy worker Mark De Salis

Energy worker Mr De Salis was killed alongside a female from New Zealand

The man and woman were killed on a beach near the Libyan city of Sabratha. Investigators believe the motive behind the killing may have been criminal as well as political

Motive riddle over picnic killings of Briton and New Zealand friend in Libya

The motive for the killings of a British man and his female New Zealander companion on a beach in Libya could be criminal as well as political, investigators have said.

In Brief: Shell saves $600m on gas deal; Fiat shares soar; China slowdown hits oil; IMI shareholders to vote on £600m cash return

Shell saves $600m on gas deal with Repsol

Royal Dutch Shell has saved $600m (£362m) on a deal to buy rival Repsol’s liquefied natural gas assets in Trinidad, Peru and Spain. The supermajor had agreed to buy the portfolio for $4.4bn last February, but will now only be spending $3.8bn on Repsol’s LNG work outside of North America.

Yvonne Fletcher was shot outside the Libyan embassy

National Archives release: Libya warned Foreign Office of embassy violence ahead of Yvonne Fletcher murder

British diplomats were warned twice in the hours before the murder by a Libyan gunman of police officer Yvonne Fletcher of possible violence outside the country’s London embassy, according to newly-released government files.

The Mellitah gas terminal, 60 miles away from Tripoli

British teacher shot dead in western Libya along with New Zealander

Two teachers, one of them a Briton, have been found shot dead close to an oil and gas complex in western Libya.

Arms deals fixer Ziad Takieddine has been refused entry to Britain

Arms deals fixer Ziad Takieddine refused entry and returned to France

A controversial fixer for arms deals linked to an alleged corruption scandal that engulfed Nicolas Sarkozy has been refused entry to Britain.

Libya frees four US military personnel after brief detention

Four US military personnel investigating potential evacuation routes in Libya were taken into custody at a checkpoint and detained briefly by the Libyan government before being released.

2013 - the year in review: What a contrast between the optimism of the Arab Spring and the dark mood of today's Middle East

Al-Assad will stay in power. The rebels are not strong enough to remove him without Western intervention

Nelson Mandela forged a close relationship with Libya's Muammar Gaddafi

Nelson Mandela’s foreign policy triumph was to stand against the West

Diplomatic Channels: President Mandela was not going to turn his back on Libya

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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 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...