G4S contracts in Israeli occupied territories face major investigation

OECD to examine the controversial firm’s alleged supply of surveillance kit

'No genuine strategic vision' in Government's defence policy, say MPs

Britain’s policy on defence has been overwhelmingly driven by the need to cut cost, lacks vision and leads to concerns about how plans were being made to combat the real threats and challenges being faced by the country, an influential parliamentary committee has claimed.

Sphozmay, 10, who was about to be used by the Taliban as a suicide bomber, sits next to a police officer at a police office in Helmand province

Afghanistan: Ten-year-old girl 'forced to wear suicide vest'

A provincial official in Afghanistan say a suicide car bomber has attacked a security checkpoint in the country's east, killing three police officers.

Nathan Filer, 32, is a lecturer but also works in mental health

Mental health nurse Nathan Filer wins Costa first novel prize with The Shock of the Fall

Nathan Filer's novel explores a man's descent into mental illness

Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon pictured in 2005

Ariel Sharon in critical condition: The former Israeli prime minister needs 'miracle' to survive, hospital spokesperson says

Ariel Sharon needs a “miracle” to survive, the head of Sheba Medical Center, Ze’ev Rotstein, has said.

Sgt Alexander Blackman

Sergeant Alexander Blackman: Royal Marine jailed for life for murder of Afghan insurgent challenges verdict

39-year-old lodges applications for permission to appeal against both conviction and sentence

Human remains 'fall from the sky' in Saudi Arabia

Police unable to confirm if incident is related to emergency landing of Saudi flight suffering landing gear malfunction on same day

Sunni fighters arm themselves with RPG missiles launcher and machine guns as they take up position in Fallujah city, western Iraq

The harm before the storm: Army battles to expel resurgent al-Qa’ida from Iraq

As the wars in Iraq and Syria increasingly become one, Iraqi Prime Minister Nour al-Maliki must restore order before sectarianism worsens

US Secretary of State John Kerry that the United States will support Iraq's fight against al-Qa'ida-linked militants who have overrun two cities, but won't send in American troops

US will support Iraq but won't send in troops, says John Kerry

US Secretary of State says militants are trying to destabilise the region

New wave of bombings in Iraq kill 20

Deadliest attack took place in Baghdad's Shia northern Shaab neighbourhood

A seagull flies past pope Francis as he arrives for the Angelus noon prayer he celebrates from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Sunday 5 January

Pope Francis announces first visit to Holy Land

Pontiff will travel to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan on May 24-26

Leader of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II (right), welcomes Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, in Cairo, Egypt

Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour visits Coptic cathedral in symbolic move to see Pope Tawadros II

Egypt's interim president on Sunday made a rare visit to see the pontiff of the nation's Orthodox Christians at St. Mark's Cathedral, the papal seat in central Cairo, according to a brief statement by the church.

Top Iraqi commander vows to re-capture Fallujah and Ramadi after al-Qa'ida-linked fighters take control of key cities

A senior Iraqi military commander has said it will take a few days to fully dislodge al-Qa'ida-linked fighters from two key western cities.

Majid al-Majid, al-Qa’ida’s top commander in Lebanon

Fears of retaliatory attacks in Lebanon after al-Qa'ida chief dies in army hospital

Majid al-Majid had suffered from kidney problems and required regular dialysis

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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
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
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story