i

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?

Libyan prime minister Ali Zeidan

Is no one safe in Libya? PM has to be rescued from kidnap gang

Ali Zeidan was freed after half a day, but his abduction highlights a nation’s slide into chaos

Masked rebel fighters run past a journalist in the Salaheddin district of Aleppo last week

The Arab Spring backlash has killed any hope of a free and fearless press

World Focus: The sacking of journalists is seen as a way of keeping newsrooms timid and self-censored

Former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, and chief L'Oreal shareholder Liliane Bettencourt

Nicolas Sarkozy's hopes of return to political power boosted as he is cleared of 'fleecing' chief L'Oréal shareholder Liliane Bettencourt

Former President Nicolas Sarkozy's hopes of a political comeback today received a substantial boost when he was cleared of abusing the feeble mental condition of France's wealthiest woman.

US commando raids: John Kerry defends capture of Libyan terror suspect Abu Anas al-Liby in Tripoli

Secretary of State says al-Qa’ida terrorists can ‘run but they can’t hide’ as Libya questions US abduction of Anas al-Liby

This image from the FBI website shows Anas al-Libi. Gunmen in a three-car convoy have seized the al-Qai'ida leader connected to the 1998 embassy bombings in eastern Africa
Abdul Moheman al-Raghie, left, and Nabih al-Raghie, the son and brother respectively of al-Qaeda suspect Abu Anas al-Libi have spoken to the press

Al-Liby capture: MPs to question Theresa May on why al-Qa’ida operative and 'most-wanted' seized by US in Libya was granted UK asylum in 1995

The computer expert, placed on the FBI's most wanted list in 2001, lived in Manchester for four years

The Weekend’s Viewing: Rager Omaar is back with a looks at the Ottoman Empire

The Ottomans: Europe’s Muslim Emperors, Sun, BBC2 // Was It Something I Said?, Sun, Channel 4

John Kerry issues warning to terrorists after US raids in Libya and Somalia

Special forces seize al-Qa’ida suspect in Libya but mission in Somalia ends in failure

Book review: In It Together: the Inside Story of the Coalition Government, By Matthew d'Ancona

John Rentoul admires a close-up account of our divided government but has his doubts about the odd couple who lead it

Television choices: Rageh Omaar's timely take on the roots of modern conflict in The Ottomans

TV pick of the week: The Ottomans: Europe's Muslim Emperors

In the studio: Julie Brook, artist

'My work is very light-footed and transient. The best stuff is unexpected'

We have to stem this awful trade

The appalling tragedy in the seas off southern Sicily may well be the worst ever, in terms of numbers lost. It is certainly the bleakest reminder that neither the countries from which the victims came, nor Libya, from which they almost certainly travelled, nor Italy, nor Europe as a whole, has begun to find a way to stem this dreadful trade.

Mob attack on Russian embassy in Libya prompts exit of staff

Russia has evacuated all of its diplomats and their families from Libya, the day after a mob attack on the Russian  embassy, and issued a warning to its citizens against visiting the country.

Russia evacuates diplomats from Libya after ‘mob’ of gunmen target embassy

Libyan security officials deem compound in Tripoli unsafe after yesterday's attack in which one man was killed and four injured

Book review: Gaddafi's Harem, By Annick Cojean (trs by Marjolijn de Jager)

Muammar Gaddafi’s political excesses have been well documented. His sexual crimes are only now coming to light. By sharing his victims’ stories, Annick Cojean, a reporter for Le Monde, opens the floodgates. Her account of a sex-obsessed tyrant exposes the full extent of Gaddafi’s brutality.

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Day In a Page

A
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
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future