Voices In today's relaxed Tehran, headscarves are being worn back from the face

Ex-home secretary Jack Straw returns from a visit to Tehran convinced that it’s time for the West to rethink its relationship with the regime

Ahmadinejad faces court challenge

Iran's parliament has voted to refer President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the judiciary over what politicians say is a violation of the constitution.

Blast at Iranian refinery as Ahmadinejad visits

A lethal explosion at an Iranian oil refinery during a visit by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday left the President unhurt but delivered an embarrassing blow to his drive to increase gasoline output.

Pressure on Iranian President as aide is held

An aide in Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's inner circle has been arrested, ramping up the pressure on the embattled leader who is mired in a bitter power struggle with Iran's leading cleric.

Iranian president sacks three ministers in power struggle

Iran's president has fired three key Cabinet ministers — all of who were his staunch loyalists — amid an ongoing power struggle between the parliament and his government.

Adrian Hamilton: High jinks and low politics in Tehran

International Studies

Robert Fisk: Is Shane Bauer really an enemy of Iran?

The journalist, a fearless defender of the Middle East's dispossessed, is about to go on trial in Tehran for alleged espionage

Ahmadinejad ends week-long 'boycott' of cabinet sessions

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended his first cabinet meeting for more than a week yesterday, dismissing rumours of a damaging split with the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to reports. Mr Ahmadinejad's close relationship with the senior cleric, who has the last word in the Islamic Republic's affairs, was strained two weeks ago, according to some analysts.

Inside Iran: What life is really like in Tehran

While revolution has been sweeping the Middle East, demonstrations in Iran have been more subdued. But what's really going on in this notoriously secretive state? In a special report from inside the country, Patrick Cockburn takes to the streets to find out

Superman becomes a super-rebel – and scourge of the American right

He's still a firm believer in truth and justice, but the world's foremost superhero is no longer sure he can carry on proudly endorsing the American way. As he approaches his 80th birthday, Superman has made a shock decision: he intends to renounce his US citizenship.

Terence Blacker: Those who annoy us, we salute you

Perhaps it was the pressure of the moment, or maybe the prime ministerial stiletto is not as sharp as it was. Whatever the excuse, David Cameron's description of Ed Balls as "the most annoying person in modern politics" has had experts in the field shaking their heads in disbelief.

Ex-president sacked for backing Iran opposition

Hardliners have forced former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from his position as head of a powerful organisation of the clergy in charge of choosing or dismissing Iran's supreme leader.

How Iran keeps revolution from flowering on streets of Tehran

After a week inside the Islamic state, Patrick Cockburn reflects on how Ahmadinejad's subtle game has kept regional unrest at bay

Iran reformers 'abducted' by security forces

Two of Iran's main opposition leaders and their wives are said to be in grave danger after security forces apparently abducted them from their homes, where they were under house arrest.

Death demanded for Iran dissidents

Thousands of government supporters have called for the execution of opposition leaders at Friday prayers in the Iranian capital Tehran, following last week's anti-government demonstrations.

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas