African Odyssey: a horticultural tour of Marrakesh

Ancient royal palaces, fountained courtyards – and the splendour of Yves Saint Laurent's former home: Emma Townshend finds herself swept away by the majesty of Marrakesh's horticultural panorama

Paperback review: The Threads of the Heart, By Carole Martinez (trs by Howard Curtis)

Frasquita, a Spanish woman living in a small, rural village, has a talent for sewing: she is able to weave clothing into beautifully intricate designs and even uses her thread to suture wounds.

A young Tunisian man who set himself on fire is surrounded by security forces in Tunis

Tunisian man immolates himself in Arab Spring reprise

A young cigarette vendor has set himself on fire in Tunis, reviving memories of similar events two years ago that sparked an uprising which spread across the Arab world.

Rachid Taha, Zoom (Wrasse)

Album review: Rachid Taha, Zoom (Wrasse)

The future of the Middle East probably lies with the likes of Rachid Taha.

Protesters hold aloft posters of Chokri Belaid who was shot dead outside his home

Four radicals arrested as police hunt for known assassin of Chokri Belaid

Tunisia's new Prime Minister tries to ease tension after opposition leader's murder

The launch site at Luxor just prior to the crash

Luxor hot air balloon crash: How tourism has changed in Egypt

As a result of a slump in tourism on the Nile, competition for visitors’ spending has become intense

Egyptian riot police arrest a young man during clashes with protesters at a demonstration near Tahrir Square, Cairo, earlier this year

Young children detained and tortured after protests in Egypt

Activists speak out over 'unprecedented level of institutional abuse of children'

We shouted loudest over Sri Lanka’s abuses. Three years on and we’re arming the regime

No matter how much red tape we put in place, we have no control over how such weaponry is used

Briton among seven kidnapped by Nigerian gunmen

Islamists have waged a guerilla war in the region for over a year

Foreign Secretary William Hague

Britain must work with regimes that have abused human rights, says William Hague

Britain must be prepared to share intelligence with foreign governments that could prevent a terrorist attack in this country or abroad even if those countries have questionable human rights records, the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, said today.

Police fire tear gas at slain politician Chokri Belaid's funeral

Supporters of Tunisia's ruling moderate Islamist party are being called to attend a pro-government rally a day after clashes between protesters and police, following the funeral of the opposition politician Chokri Belaid, whose assassination this week tipped the country to the edge of revolt.

The Experts: The best beauty products for Valentine's Day

We may have survived the arduous slog that was January, but don't breathe a sigh of relief yet – Valentine's Day is looming.

Don't write off Tunisia's revolution just yet

They should keep calm and plod on. The public wants stability not chaos

A demonstrator raises her fist during a demonstration in Tunis

Fresh crisis in Tunisia as PM's party turns against him

Ennahda scuppers substance of Hamadi Jebali's TV address to the nation and street protests ensue

A protest in New Delhi earlier this month

China, India or Egypt: who will win the 21st century?

Veterans of the Drip know we do like a bit of Thomas Friedman, the moustachio'ed sergeant major of the New York Times' op-ed pages. This week, on his annual pilgrimage to India, he reflects on three countries with a very different relationship between state and society.

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A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
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How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
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A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
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UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
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You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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