News

A military court sentenced 11 supporters of Mohamed Morsi, the deposed Islamist President, to life imprisonment today on charges of attacking the army.

Into Suez by Stevie Davies

Nia "had the feeling she'd been smoked over in her crib, both parents pouring out their toxins." A political activist and teacher in her late fifties, her worthy, somewhat preachy presence wouldn't have been missed in this novel at all. Nor would the framing narrative, which tells how Nia travels east in search of her own childhood and her long-dead mother's past. The real meat of the book is her mother's story, a harrowing tale of imperial brutality and forbidden love in the Suez Canal Zone during the run-up to Britain's ignominious expulsion from Egypt in 1956. The adult Nia's story pops up mainly to point up the striking parallels between Suez and today's mess in Iraq, while also allowing for some clumsy exposition on the history and politics of the Middle East.

France and Britain: A history of relations

Can it possibly work? Yesterday's Ministry of Defence green paper suggests that, to save taxpayers' money, Britain and France should co-operate more closely on military matters. It is a fact often forgotten that the two countries ceased fighting each other almost two centuries ago (leaving aside occasional misunderstandings in Africa, the Middle East, Twickenham etc). On the other hand, the history of Anglo-French collusion since the Battle of Waterloo has not been an entente tout à fait cordiale. Here is a brief guide to some of des hauts et des bas (ups and downs) of cross-Channel collaboration in the past two centuries.

The Traveller's Guide to the Red Sea

Blue skies, golden sands and a rainbow of dazzling colours beneath the surface make this body of water the ideal winter warmer. Matthew Teller dives in

Sir Donald Logan: Civil servant who assisted the Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd during the Suez crisis

Donald Logan's place in post-war political history is assured, as he was the only British representative present at the two secret meetings at Sèvres, near Paris, at the height of the 1956 Suez Crisis.

Top secret: A century of British espionage

In October 1909, Britain’s intelligence services were born – and for a century since, they’ve inspired myths, half-truths and glamorous fiction. Simon Usborne uncovers the most colourful chapters in a very secret history

Portsmouth bid for Zaki rejected

Portsmouth's attempts to bring Amr Zaki back to England have failed after a bid was rejected by his club, Zamalek.

Robert Fisk’s World: Little has changed since the secretive days of the Suez crisis

It seems we really are going to have an Iraq inquiry. But I’m not holding my breath

Paul Williams: Right-wing Conservative MP who resigned the whip over Suez and later chaired the Monday Club

Paul Williams entered the House of Commons in 1953 at the age of 30, winning a by-election for the Conservatives in Sunderland. It was the first time that the governing party had gained a seat in a by-election since 1924.

Sir Anthony Kershaw: Supremely loyal Conservative MP

"He taught me one of the most important lessons of my political life – how best to handle Old Etonians!" So Edward Heath told me in 2001, referring to Anthony Kershaw, a fellow guest, when he invited three Labour MPs, Denis Healey, Tony Benn and myself, to join a select score of Tory MPs and ex-MPs at a dinner given on the occasion of his 50 years in the House of Commons. It has to be said, though, that Heath, when Prime Minister, did not reward Kershaw as he might have done.

Nine killed on Egypt tourist bus

Nine people were killed when a tourist bus overturned in Egypt's Sinai peninsula and caught fire early today.

Peter Hennessy: Blink and you'd miss it. Brown said sorry

Before the Prime Minister updates his pioneering National Security Strategy, he must order a full inquiry into the road to war

Paperback: Naguib Mahfouz, by Rasheed El-Enany

Cairo's Nobel-winning novelist lived through not only a century (1911-2006) but all Egypt's modern history. Part of Haus's stylish and dependable "Life & Times" series, this compact illustrated survey brings his sprawling, many-sided oeuvre into clear focus. Mahfouz ran enduring risks with his Dickensian social chronicles; the Islamist who nearly killed him in 1994 cited a "blasphemous" novel 35 years old. El-Elany delivers a handy and expert guide to a heroic life's work.

GM urged to tie up with Renault-Nissan

Kirk Kerkorian, the veteran corporate raider who has amassed a near 10 per cent stake in General Motors, has urged the world's biggest car maker to forge an alliance with Renault and Nissan.

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