Afghan militants kidnap two charity workers and their guides

Two foreign medical workers and their three Afghan translators have been abducted in a remote part of north-east Afghanistan.

Devoted to others: Dale in Egypt last December

Khalil Dale: Aid worker who spent his career in the world's trouble spots

Khalil Dale was an English aid worker who for decades devoted himself to humanitarian work in some of the world's most dangerous trouble spots before meeting a brutal death in a Pakistan border town. He was abducted by armed men in January; his body was found on 29 April. His killers coldly explained that they had killed him because their demands for a ransom had not been met.

Hospital staff carry the coffin of Red Cross worker Khalil Dale to an ambulance in Quetta, Pakistan, yesterday

Aid worker's killers threaten to release video of his execution

Red Cross appeals to Pakistan media not to broadcast Taliban film of Khalil Dale's death

PM condemns beheading of British doctor Khalil Dale

The murder of a British aid worker whose body was found dumped in an orchard in Pakistan has been condemned by the Prime Minister as a “shocking and merciless act”.

First 'organ trafficking' case found

The first case of someone being brought to Britain to have an organ removed for trafficking has been uncovered, according to a report.

Russia softens and offers to back Annan's Syria plan at UN

Russia offered heavily-qualified support yesterday for a United Nations initiative to end the bloodshed in Syria, as opponents of President Bashar al-Assad's regime faced an intensifying struggle to oust him.

Burmese army accused of murder and rape

As Burma prepares for by-elections, a new report accuses the army of the rape, torture and murder of ethnic people, with Human Rights Watch (HRW) saying that the abuse of civilians has deepened since fighting against ethnic Kachin rebels in the country's north-east was triggered last year after a 17-year ceasefire. Up to 75,000 people have been forced from their homes.

US and Russia clash over Syria at UN

The United States and Russia clashed over Syria at the U.N. today after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the divided Security Council to speak with one voice and help the Middle Eastern nation "pull back from the brink of a deeper catastrophe."

PM welcomes Syria defection reports

Downing Street today welcomed reports that a Syrian minister has defected from the government of Bashar al-Assad and joined the rebels.

Coffins containing the bodies of Marie Colvin and photographer Remi Ochlik

Journalists' bodies handed over by Syrian regime

Red Cross convoy held up by government forces outside Homs as violence shows no signs of abating across the country

World's first sex trafficking opera to premiere in UK

Groundbreaking production about women forced into prostitution opens in Liverpool this week
Basah Al-Assad: Syria’s President is crushing uprisings with the help of the Shabiha militia

Assad blocks Red Cross aid mission to Homs

Regime resists Red Cross hopes for Homs mercy mission

Syria blocks Homs aid convoy

Syrian authorities have blocked an aid convoy carrying emergency supplies from entering the Baba Amr district in the city of Homs, the International Committee of the Red Cross says.

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad

Tunisia 'offers asylum to Bashar Assad'

Tunisia's president has said he is ready to offer asylum to Syrian leader Bashar Assad as part of a negotiated solution to the Syrian conflict.

UK to recognise Syrian opposition

Britain is to recognise the Syrian opposition as a "legitimate representative" of the country's people, William Hague said today.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links