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?

The News Matrix: Wednesday 28 August 2013

BMA slams plan to charge foreigners

The West should beware the law of unintended consequences in Syria

A victory for the rebels, which include al-Qa’ida-linked groups, is not a comforting scenario

Is the West prepared to cross the Rubicon over Syria? Probably

Will the night sky of Damascus soon be illuminated by the explosion of American cruise missiles striking government buildings and military bases as used to happen periodically in Baghdad between 1991 and 2003? Pillars of fire would suddenly spring up on each side of the Tigris river and bursts of tracer rounds from anti-aircraft guns would rise slowly and ineffectively into the sky.

Michaela Biancofiore, left, with Silvio Berlusconi, right

Amazons will fight tooth and claw to save Silvio Berlusconi as former PM counts on close female associates

In a country that is all about tribal loyalties, he can still call on some fierce friends, says Michael Day in Milan

Egypt crisis: Two more prominent Muslim Brotherhood figures arrested as court meets to consider Mubarak release

Officers capture top ally of the Brotherhood as he 'tried to flee to Libya disguised as a woman'

Egyptians mourn over the bodies of their relatives in the Al-Fath mosque

Memories of Egypt will affect how people respond to this crisis

Thousands visited the country before the slide into violence

Syria's shadow now looms over Egypt – and the West is allowing it to lengthen

As rivers of blood flowed in Egypt this week, the frightening crisis in a wounded nation turned even more critical. With each bullet the prospects for peaceful and political resolution to increasingly deep divisions over faith and freedom receded that bit further.

Bomb blast hits Egyptian consulate in Benghazi

A bomb has ripped through the Egyptian consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, leaving a security guard needing hospital treatment.

A policeman stands behind razor wire as security is stepped up in Manama

Journalists arrested in Bahrain as Shia population protests its Sunni monarchy

Authorities in bid to prevent reporting of mass protests demanding democratic rights in the island kingdom

One year on, US charges Ahmed Khattalah over Benghazi consulate attack

Nearly a full year after the deadly attack on its consular compound in Benghazi, the United States has taken a first concrete step towards fulfilling its promise to bring the perpetrators to justice filing criminal charges against several suspects including a Libyan militia leader, according to unconfirmed media reports.

'Terror threat': UK embassy in Yemen to stay shut as US extends closures across Middle East

US officials said 19 of its embassies in the Middle East would remain shut until Saturday

John Kerry was among those meeting to discuss US security threats

US top brass meet to discuss terror threats as embassies close

President Barack Obama was briefed following the meeting

A Yemeni soldier stops a vehicle yesterday at a checkpoint on a street leading to the US Embassy in eastern Sana’a

Al-Qa’ida terror threat ‘is the most specific since 9/11’

Yemen the focus for intercepts that sparked international diplomatic alert

The US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said there may be 'additional days of closing' for its embassies

US issues worldwide travel alert following embassy closures over al-Qa'ida security threat

Those affected include Kuwait, Egypt, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates

Postcard from... Milan

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Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor