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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee