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

Syria: Senegalese general Babacar Gaye arrives in Damascus to head pared down team of UN observers

Babacar Gaye, a Senegalese general with a reputation for straight talking, has arrived in Damascus to head up a pared down team of unarmed UN observers who remain unable to carry out their mission amid spiralling violence.

EU agrees new Syria sanctions

The European Union today agreed new sanctions to target senior members of the Syrian regime, in the latest effort to step up pressure on president Bashar Assad to stop killing his own people.

William Hague blasts Russia over Syria veto

Foreign Secretary William Hague has issued a fresh condemnation of Russia's decision to veto a United Nations resolution on Syria and said the international body could be sidelined in efforts to support the opposition movement.

William Hague condemns Syria bombing

William Hague today condemned the reported killing of Syria's defence minister.

Residents gather outside the house in Lahore where nine cadets training to be prison guards were killed by Taliban gunmen yesterday

Assad forces and militia 'kill 220 Syrians in worst atrocity'

Reports of massacre as Russia and Britain offer rival action plans to UN Security Council

UN plan for Syria now vital, says Hague

Foreign Secretary William Hague today warned it would be a catastrophe if a United Nations (UN) conference failed to reach a peace plan for Syria.

UN authorises force to capture Kony

The United Nations has endorsed an African Union force to capture warlord Joseph Kony and neutralise his Lord's Resistance Army.

UN monitors shot at trying to reach site of 'massacre' in Syria

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told a General Assembly session today that monitors trying to access the site of an alleged massacre in Syria were shot at by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

An image released by the Syrian opposition shows blindfolded and handcuffed bodies on the ground in Deir el-Zour

Exit Kofi Annan – with Syria still massacring its people and Russia still blocking international action

UN envoy's mission to Damascus ends in failure with Assad as defiant as ever

William Hague with Sergei Lavrov in Russia

Hague sent packing by Russia as Annan peace plan crumbles

Moscow backing of Assad leaves hopes for united front in tatters

International community should unite against Syria, says minister

A Foreign Office minister called for the international community to unite to take further action against Syria following the “revolting” massacre at Houla.

Alan George: The world waits for Damascus to go a step too far

Nearly nine weeks after Bashar al-Assad's regime formally agreed the UN six-point peace plan, and six weeks after the ceasefire was supposed to come into effect, the killing continues unabated.

Kofi Annan warns of risk of civil war in Syria

International envoy Kofi Annan says world powers share a “profound concern” that Syria's violence is spiraling into civil war but have pledged to deploy 300 truce monitors there by the end of the month.

China and Russia resist Sudanese sanctions

China and Russia are resisting joining Western pressure on the UN Security Council to threaten Sudan and South Sudan with sanctions if the two countries fail to comply with demands to halt their escalating conflict.

Anti-regime protesters carry the body of activist Nour al-Zahraa, 23, who was shot on Sunday

Nine killed as Syrian ceasefire is rocked by suicide bombings

A string of bomb blasts ripped through Syria yesterday, including three powerful explosions in the north-western city of Idlib – killing nine people – highlighting the momentous challenge facing the UN monitoring mission as it attempts to shore up a threadbare ceasefire.

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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own