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There are now fears the country is on the brink of civil war ‘along ethnic lines’

Palestinians inspect damage from an Israeli air strike

Israel-Hamas fighting puts US at odds with Turkey and Egypt

The Israeli-Hamas conflict is putting the Obama administration at odds with two of its most important partners in the Middle East, threatening to undermine other US objectives in the region at a time of political upheaval.

Mali’s acting President Dioncounda Traore at the summit of the Economic Community of West African States on Sunday

West African states to combat Mali's rebels

West African nations have agreed to send some 3,000 troops to help Mali wrest back control of its northern half, which was seized by al-Qai'da-linked fighters more than six months ago, according to an official involved in the discussions.

White House set to begin diplomatic talks with Iran over alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons

The White House said it is prepared to talk one-on-one with Iran to find a diplomatic settlement to the impasse over Tehran's reported pursuit of nuclear weapons, but there is no agreement now to meet.

A UN report claimed Rwandan troops backed the M23 rebellion

Rwanda gets UN seat, despite claims it backed Congo rebels

Critics allege country's government has created a buffer state in eastern Congo led by its allies

The M23's Major John, left, and Colonel Vianney Kazarama

Pressure grows on UK to halt Rwanda aid after damning UN reports

Defence chief commands rebels guilty of huge human rights abuses, says dossier

French prosecutors question widow on Arafat death

The widow of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has been questioned by French lawyers investigating his death, it emerged yesterday.

US accuses Hezbollah of aiding Assad

The United States has accused Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia, of stepping up support for the Syrian government, saying it has become part of President Bashar al-Assad's "killing machine".

Editorial: Syria's war must not ignite the region

The events of recent days in and around the Turkish town of Akcakale, close to Syria's northern border, serve as a warning of the extreme dangers inherent in the present situation. The sequence of events is now pretty well established. Shells fired by the Syrian military landed there on Wednesday afternoon, destroying buildings and killing five people. Turkey responded by firing into Syria. These were the first recorded cross-border incidents of Syria's civil war. The risk is that they will not be the last.

Smoke rises over the streets after an mortar bomb landed from Syria in the border village of Akcakale

UN condemns Syrian mortar attack on Turkey 'in the strongest terms' as Turkey authorises retaliatory attack

The UN Security Council overcame deep divisions to unanimously approve a statement condemning Syria's shelling of a Turkish town that killed five women and children "in the strongest terms."

Abbas: Talks are underway on new UN recognition bid for Palestine

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he has opened talks on a new bid for international recognition at the UN, but didn't specify exactly when he will ask the General Assembly to vote.

David Cameron issued a call at the United Nations General Assembly in New York for other members of the international community to do more to help victims of the violence in Syria

Cameron accuses Russia and China of aiding Assad

Taking the podium at the United Nations yesterday, David Cameron accused two of the world's leading powers, China and Russia, of blocking international efforts to halt the war in Syria and suggested they had "aided and abetted" President Assad's "reign of terror".

Cameron: 'Today is not the time to turn back, but to keep the faith and redouble our support for open societies'

Cameron: 'The blood of Syrian children is stain on UN'

PM delivers outspoken attack on China and Russia's inaction in face of Assad's atrocities

UN observers to be withdrawn from Syria within days

The remaining UN observers in Syria will be pulled out within days, removing the only international presence on the ground in a swelling conflict that claims scores of lives every day.

UN to consider new Syria office

The UN Security Council will debate today whether to establish a new civilian office to support UN and Arab League efforts to end the 18-month conflict in Syria when the UN military observer mission comes to an end on Sunday.

Brahimi tipped to be envoy as tension spreads

In Lebanon a former cabinet minister has been accused of plotting bomb attacks

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Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
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Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

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Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

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The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

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Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor