Arts and Entertainment

Joshua Greene, a Harvard psychologist turned moral philosopher, gets it right about at least one thing in Moral Tribes.  “This is an ambitious book,” he tells us on page five. Its goal? To find “a metamorality, a global philosophy that can adjudicate among competing tribal moralities”. So, an answer to all conflicts between the world's nations, cultures, religions and factions? As a reader, you can't help but wish him luck.

Lebanese soldiers at an explosion site in Sbouba, Bekaa, on 17 December

Lebanese army fires on Syrian helicopters ‘for violating airspace’

Officials say the Syrians were chasing rebels who were trying to sneak into Lebanon

Snow-covered Jerusalem

Postcard from... Jerusalem

Mayhew, right, meets Sir Winston Churchill in 1954, when Churchill was the Chancellor of Bristol University

Yon Mayhew: Scientist who co-wrote the seminal text on engineering thermodynamics and was hailed as an inspirational teacher

Yon Mayhew was the author, with his colleague Gordon Rogers, of the bestselling textbook Engineering Thermodynamics, Work and Heat Transfer. Published in 1957, it quickly became known as “Rogers and Mayhew”, and has gone on to sell more than a million copies, remarkable for a university text in a specialist subject. It remains the standard text on university engineering courses, and most practising mechanical engineers will have a copy on their shelves. 

Pope Francis delivers his first

'I hope for a better world': Pope Francis calls for peace for Syria and dignity for refugees fleeing misery and conflict in Christmas Day speech

Pontiff spoke from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica to some 70,000 cheering tourists, pilgrims and Romans in the square below

Sarraj in 2012, during a meeting with youth activists in Gaza City

Eyad Sarraj: Doctor who warned the United Nations about the toll on mental health caused by political oppression

Eyad Sarraj was a Palestinian human rights campaigner who dealt with the mental health damage caused by political oppression and challenged both Israeli and Palestinian abuses. Trained in Egypt and Britain, he became the Gaza Strip's first psychiatrist and established a community mental health programme in 1990 which focused on the most vulnerable groups, such as children and victims of torture and other abuses and served as a foundation for his human rights work.

A worshipper lights candles at the Church of the Nativity

O’ empty town of Bethlehem: a trickle of visits to the site of Christ’s birth thanks to intifadas and ongoing tensions

Intifadas and ongoing tensions are keeping Christian pilgrims and tourists away from Bethlehem, says

Fool cue: Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy in 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues'

Anchorman 2: How not to do sequels

Besides being really very boring, it’s also an irritating moral lecture on the way people consume news media

Egypt sends ousted Morsi to third trial over Arab Spring jailbreaks

Some of the charges against Morsi and 129 others carry the death penalty

Will Prince Charles, the 'Defender of Faiths', stand up for Christians in Israel?

In parts of the Middle East the West appears powerless to help beleaguered Christians

An Israeli soldier gestures to female protesters to move away during a demonstration against the building of a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, earlier this month

Israeli universities boycotted by US scholars over treatment of Palestinians

Israeli academia, often seen by the right as a bastion for left-wing, dovish sentiment, has been stung by a vote to boycott higher education in the country by an American academic association in protest against Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

Bottling it up: 'Kirstie's Crafty Christmas'

Kirstie's Crafty Christmas, Channel 4 - TV review

Sorry to spoil the party, but Kirstie's festive offering was a bit of a turkey

Roger Waters, performing here during his 'The Wall' tour, drew 'parallels' between Israel-Palestine conflict and 1930s and 40s Germany

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters accused of antisemitism after comparing Israeli government to Nazis

The musician likened Israel’s ‘oppression’ of Palestinians to the Holocaust

The News Matrix: Monday 16 December 2013

Mandela buried in ancestral village

Pope Francis has been forced to defend recent policies and comments which have angered conservatives

Pope Francis says he’s not a Marxist – but knows lots of good people who are

Pontiff defends his policies against conservative criticism that he is going ‘beyond Catholicism’

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the UN in New York

Israel and Apartheid: Confused? You will be

Accused of enacting 'apartheid' itself, in the past Israel aided the South African regime

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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...