Colin Firth and Emma Thompson, a Refugee Council patron, have called for the UK to offer a safe haven to Syrian refugees

Emma Thompson and Colin Firth call for UK to offer Syrian refugees a safe haven

Stars say 'money is not enough' and urge David Cameron to join other western leaders in providing places for 30,000 of the most vulnerable

A picture of General Sisi is held aloft at a polling station in Cairo

Egypt votes for a new constitution - and to legitimise an army coup

Observers say the referendum is an attempt by the authorities to secure a nationwide stamp of approval for the coup that unseated former President Mohamed Morsi last July

Russia and US unite to push for Syria ceasefire as Kerry and Lavrov meet in Paris

Powers call for humanitarian aid as rebels fight each other

Taliban militants - there was a risk the man could face persecution in Afghanistan for having rejected Islam

Afghan atheist to get asylum in Britain on religious grounds

A supervisor on the case, said: 'The decision represents an important recognition that a lack of religious belief is in itself a thoughtful and seriously-held philosophical position'

Rebel groups now fight each other as well as the army

'You need to go to Geneva': Opposition source reveals threat made by Britain and US over Syria peace talks

The two Western powers could withdraw support from the rebels unless they attend

US and Russia say negotiations close to ceasefire and aid convoy access in Syria

John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov met for talks in Paris this week ahead of a peace conference in Geneva

On guard: Ariel Sharon as a commander in the 1948 war of independence

I shall mourn Ariel Sharon's life, not his death

Sharon deliberately deceived his Cabinet. He devastated Beirut, leaving 300 dead in a day and looked on approvingly as fascist militias entered refugee camps to rape, murder and torture thousands of Palestinians

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a state memorial service for Israel's former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at Israel's parliament, the Knesset on 13 January 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel

Ariel Sharon memorial: Israel holds memorial ceremony for 'fearless warrior'

Hundreds of Israeli VIPs and international dignitaries attended a state memorial ceremony for the late Ariel Sharon on Monday, remembering the controversial former prime minister as a fearless warrior and bold leader who devoted his life to protecting his country's security.

Spozhmai, 10, who was about to be used by the Taliban as a suicide bomber, talks as she sits at a police office in Helmand province on 6 January 2014

Afghan suicide vest girl ‘treated like a slave’ by family who tried to make her blow up police checkpoint

The girl, believed to be around 10 years old, said she would rather kill herself than be sent back home

A 2010 photograph showing an general view of the nuclear power plant in Bushehr, Iran

Iran agrees to daily inspections as it reaches interim nuclear deal with world powers

Decision sets clock running on six-month deadline for a final nuclear agreement, ending crippling sanctions

The News Matrix: Monday 13 January 2014

Experts push for Iraq war crimes inquiry

Israelis pass by the coffin of Ariel Sharon at the Knesset plaza in Jerusalem

Ariel Sharon: A hawk who might just have liberated the Palestinians

What would have happened if Ariel Sharon had not been struck down by his stroke in January 2006? Could the man Palestinians saw as the butcher of Beirut, who had urged Jewish settlers to grab every hilltop in the West Bank – and provided the spark that ignited the second intifada – have been the  general-politician to end the occupation, in a local version of De Gaulle’s withdrawal from Algeria?

Israel’s President Shimon Peres lays a wreath at the coffin of the former Prime Minister in Knesset Plaza, Jerusalem

Israel’s former prime minister Ariel Sharon wins praise from US presidents, but universal disdain on the West Bank

Former leader tol be buried on a hilltop overlooking his family’s Sycamore Ranch in the southern Negev region, alongside his late wife Lily

General Sisi is waiting for the referendum results

Army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi lays bare his ambition to rule over a divided Egypt

Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood supporters, who accuse the army of staging a coup, have held frequent protests calling for his reinstatement

Israel's president Shimon Peres prepares to lay a wreath on the coffin of former prime minister Ariel Sharon

Ariel Sharon’s body lies in state outside Knesset as Israelis come to pay their respects

There will be a state memorial service for the former prime minister tomorrow before he is buried in a private ceremony at his ranch

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick