News

Chongjin camp gets 2.8 user rating

Burma releases prominent prisoners

Burma freed some of its most famous political inmates today, sparking jubilation outside prison gates while signalling its readiness to comply with demands from the US and its allies for a lifting of economic sanctions.

Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the Burmese democracy movement

Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to run for office

Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has confirmed she will run for a parliamentary seat in April by-elections.

Syrian troops ignore observers

Syrian troops have fired on protesters in the city of Homs as Arab League observers toured the area to see whether the regime is keeping its pledge to halt the crackdown on dissent.

From Dictatorship to Democracy, By Gene Sharp

No fool, this child of the revolution

Ai Weiwei tax ruling reviewed

The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei says the authorities have agreed to review their ruling that he pay a £1.5m fine for alleged tax evasion.

William Hague 'encouraged' by Burma reforms

The international community must maintain pressure on Burma's government to make further "bold steps" towards reform, Foreign Secretary William Hague said today as he completed a historic visit to the south-east Asian country.

Hague flies into a row over how much Burma has really changed

Foreign Secretary says his visit is to 'encourage the Burmese government to continue on its path of reform'

Burma President urged to free prisoners posing 'no threat'

A government-appointed human rights body has appealed to the Burmese president to release prisoners who are not a threat to stability, state media reported yesterday.

Syrian soldiers chant slogans during a pro-regime rally in Damascus

Syrian troops fire on protesters in fresh violence

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians poured into the streets across the nation in the largest protests in months, shouting for the downfall of the regime in a defiant display invigorated by the presence of Arab observers, activists said.

Vaclav Havel's funeral in Prague

World leaders gather as Vaclav Havel exits stage left

All the world became a stage yesterday for the final bow of Vaclav Havel, the playwright, turned prisoner, turned president.

Letters: Belarus and human rights

Lukashenko, oppressor of Belarus

Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko

Belarus dissidents ask Britain to increase pressure on Lukashenko regime

Belarusian opposition politicians have made a remarkable plea for Britain to ratchet up pressure on the regime of dictator Alexander Lukashenko following a highly unusual meeting at the Foreign Office.

Pakistanis burn Nato and US flags in Multan yesterday in protest at the air strike

Pakistani cable TV blocks BBC over Nato air strike coverage

Pakistani cable operators have pulled BBC World, CNN and other foreign news channels off the air in protest at their coverage of last weekend’s Nato air strike that killed 24 Pakistani troops on the border with Afghanistan.

Approximately 7,000 people are being held by revolutionary brigades with no access to due process

Human rights abuses are rife in lawless new state, UN report says

Thousands of people, including women and children, are being illegally detained by rebel militias in Libya, according to a report by the Secretary General of the United Nations. Many of the prisoners are suffering torture and systematic mistreatment while being held in private jails outside the control of the new government.

Azerbaijani President, Ilham Aliyev, has a 96 per cent approval rate, despite his hardline policies

Cameron's favourite pollsters hand dictator 96 per cent approval rating

One is the Government's favourite polling company, whose founder now works side by side with David Cameron in Downing Street and provides the Prime Minister with the latest insights into public opinion.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home