Reducing the defence budget is not the end of Britain. It could be part of our rebirth

We have vastly better things to do with the money

Syria: John Kerry urges opposition to attend peace talks

The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has urged the Syrian opposition on to attend next week's peace conference in Switzerland and said any individual chosen to lead a political transition in the war-torn country must be acceptable to both the government and opposing forces.

Egypt: Presidential run clear for Al-Sisi after majority vote for new constitution

Around 90% voters back new constitution, according to state-run media

King Senebkay's tomb and its surrounding area at the Abydos site

Valley of the other kings: Lost dynasty found in Egypt

Archaeologists have unearthed an ancient cemetery thought to contain the tombs of 16 pharaohs

Free Syrian Army fighters carry their weapons as they walk towards the frontline in the refugee camp of Yarmouk, near Damascus

Yarmouk: A camp without hope for a people without a land

Of its 250,000 Palestinians, scarcely 18,000 now remain; up to 1,500 are dead, many of them due to hunger

The roadside bomb attack that killed the Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in Beirut in February 2005

Rafiq Hariri murder trial: Proceedings begin - but the dock is empty

Nine years ago, Lebanon’s Prime Minister was murdered. But his alleged killers won’t be at the tribunal in The Hague as they haven’t been arrested. Robert Fisk says history shows the guilty will never face justice

Syrian rebel groups are drawing recruits from a variety of national backgrounds

EU citizens fighting in Syria pose threat of terror attacks when they return home, says domestic affairs chief

The first challenge for European governments is how to prevent young men and women from leaving to take part in the conflict

Israeli soldiers on guard at a West Bank mosque damaged by settlers

Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians quadruple, says UN

Trees have been cut down, mosques defaced and farmers beaten

Syria crisis: Half of population in need of aid as Britain pledges another £100m

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says ‘fighting has set Syria back decades’

Transfer news: Galatasaray reportedly interested in shock move for Stoke City midfielder Charlie Adam

Scotsman could join Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder in Turkey

Transfer news: Liverpool budget restrictions may leave Brendan Rodgers limited to Mohamed Salah this January

Rodgers set to hold talks with owners this Friday

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: David Cameron’s liaisons are so different to François Hollande’s

It’s fair to assume that David Cameron’s appearance before the Commons Liaison Committee was not the most watched public questioning of a European leader this afternoon. Or, for the man in question, the most gruelling. 

The late Sam Berns (centre) with his parents Scott Berns and Leslie Gordon at the 18th Annual Nantucket Film Festival in June 2013.

Sam Berns: Funeral held for inspirational teenager with an ageing disorder

Well-wishers queued outside to pay their respects at the temple where the 17-year-old was laid to rest

The lost girls: Main conclusions of The Independent's study

There is strong evidence that the overall gender ratio is significantly different from the background ratio in the case of UK parents born in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky

Russian Lib Dem leader tells party members to have sex only four times a year

Vladimir Zhirinovsky also called for films showing smoking and drinking to be banned

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
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'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
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Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
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Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

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How to make a Lego masterpiece

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Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam