Voices

Everyone knows that the Assad regime – from father Hafez onwards – has employed torture and executions to preserve the doubtful purity of the Baath party

Cycling: Mark Cavendish wins sprint finish

Mark Cavendish won the second stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico today to claim his fourth victory of what he hopes will be a momentous 2012 season.

Sky has the bulk of rights to the Premier League

Al Jazeera 'could challenge Sky' for Premier League rights

Premier League clubs could be in for another massive television cash windfall with a serious challenge to Sky's domination of top-flight domestic TV coverage by Al Jazeera now a "realistic prospect", according to the European head of ESPN.

Rome out of race to host 2020 Olympics

Rome has dropped out of the race to host the 2020 Olympics and in doing so has given a massive boost to Qatar's hopes.

Arab League considers revival of Syrian mission 

Arab League officials say the 22-member group is considering reviving its suspended observer mission in Syria, expanding it to include monitors from non-Arab, Muslim nations and maybe involvement by the United Nations.

Mark Cavendish pictured in Qatar

Cycling: Desert storm blows unlucky Cavendish off victory course

A blustery half-gale blew away almost all hope Mark Cavendish had of claiming a first overall stage-race win here yesterday as the peloton shattered and the reigning World Champion lost nearly a minute on winner Tom Boonen.

Students can improve their global contacts and language skills while working towards a UK standard degree

International bright young things

From Europe to the Far East, British universities are enticing students overseas to their outreach campuses

Mark Cavendish (left), of Team Sky, sprints ahead of Tom Boonen to win the third stage of the Tour of Qatar yesterday

Cycling: Cavendish shows early form in Qatar

Mark Cavendish fought off the aftermath of a fever to claim his first victory in the world champion's rainbow jersey for Team Sky here yesterday, fulfilling his promise to "hit the ground running" in a year where a crack at Britain's first Olympic gold of 2012 is beckoning.

Fatah and Hamas agree that Abbas will lead Palestinian unity cabinet

The leaders of Fatah and Hamas yesterday agreed that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas could head an interim "unity" cabinet to pave the way for fresh future elections in Gaza and the West Bank.

Mark Cavendish (right) with Sky team-mate Bernie Eisel in Doha

Cycling: Cavendish survives desert fever

A widely hoped-for debut victory for his new squad, Sky, in 2012 could probably not have been further from Mark Cavendish's mind during yesterday's stage of the Tour of Qatar, with the reigning world champion still suffering badly from the after-effects of a fever-inducing bug caught during his flight out to the Middle East.

Lawrie turns back the clock

Paul Lawrie is back in the world top 50 for the first time since 2003, after he won his second Qatar Masters title yesterday. The 43-year-old Scot (above) chipped in twice in a brilliant closing 65 to beat the Australian Jason Day and Swede Peter Hanson by four.

As the reigning world champion, Cavendish knows that he will be a marked man

Cycling: Cavendish can start Sky life on a high after decent train times

Mark Cavendish's 2012 road to the Tour de France and Olympic Games starts here in Qatar's exotic (for cycling) desert landscape tomorrow – with much more than just winning as many stages as possible at stake for the Manxman.

John Daly hit a 67 yesterday to lie second at the Qatar Masters

Improving Daly to cross the Atlantic for more regular action

John Daly has informed officials he plans to base himself on the European Tour this year. The 45-year-old believes he is not playing regularly enough in America and is to switch his focus across the Atlantic.

President Bashar al-Assad called the mission a 'flagrant interference' in Syria's affairs

Gulf countries pull support for Arab League's Syria mission

Nations cite as their reason the daily killing of protesters by President Assad's regime

Roger Federer showed no sign of back trouble as he cruised into the second round of the Australian Open today with a 7-5 6-2 6-2 victory over qualifier Alexander Kudryavtsev.

Roger Federer back to his best in Australian Open victory

Roger Federer showed no sign of back trouble as he cruised into the second round of the Australian Open today with a 7-5 6-2 6-2 victory over qualifier Alexander Kudryavtsev.

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