News

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

Letter: Genome mysteries

Sir: The completion of the human genome project will certainly be a major technical achievement, but I am puzzled.

Obituaries: Alf Robens

OFTEN IN the 1960s Alf Robens invited Labour MPs representing mining areas to a working lunch at Hobart House, writes Tam Dalyell [further to the obituary by Lord Glenamara and Terry Pattinson, 29 June]. On one occasion I arrived early, and took the opportunity to say that, at the time of Hugh Gaitskell's death in February 1963, many of the more recently elected MPs (I had been one for six months) would have voted for him as Hugh's successor, had he remained in the Commons.

Serendipity: The soul of hieroglyphs

IN 1799, French soldiers preparing the foundations for an extension to Fort Julien, at Rosetta, Egypt, discovered the single most famous stone in the history of archaeology, the Rosetta Stone. This slab contained an inscription in Egyptian hieroglyphs accompanied by the same text in Greek, which seemed to offer a key to unlocking the mysterious symbols of Egyptian writing.

Book review: Underneath the crinoline

The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif Bloomsbury pounds 18.99

Obituary: Sir Anthony Nutting Bt

ANTHONY NUTTING was one of the nearly men of post-war British politics, seen by many, including Harold Macmillan, as a future leader of the Conservative Party. But the Suez Crisis was to bring all these expectations to an abrupt end, and Nutting, who was only 36 at the time of his resignation, arguably suffered the greatest political loss.

Books: The high beast of Egypt

Jan Morris warms to a tall tale that turns an animal into an allegory

Anniveraries

Births: Tiberius, Roman emperor, 42 BC; Girolamo Abos, composer, 1715; Rodolphe Kreutzer, violinist and composer, 1766; Francis Danby, painter, 1793; William John Thoms, founder and editor of "Notes and Queries", 1885; Friedrich Wilhelm Kucken, conductor and composer, 1810; John Bright, political reformer, 1811; William Frend de Morgan, artist and novelist, 1839; Alphonse-Marie Leon Daudet, author, 1867; William Christopher Handy, composer and cornetist, 1873; Aleksander Aleksandrovich Blok, poet, 1880; George Simon Kaufman, playwright, 1889; Michael Arlen (Dikran Kouyoumdjian), novelist, 1895; Paul Hindemith, viola player and composer, 1895; Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley, Fascist leader, 1896.

Arts: This is London calling...

Howard Brenton's first radio play tackles the Suez crisis. Robert Hanks tackles the BBC's labyrinths to watch it being recorded

The Deborah Ross Interview: Clare Short - Labour's Earth Mother

Clare Short has had her problems. With Tony Blair. With the boy she gave up for adoption. Even with the people of Montserrat. But now, at 52, she says she's happier than ever. And it can't just be the power of Badedas

Hopes fade for Middle East peace

IF BILL CLINTON saves his presidency, he will have lost the Middle East. For he has thrown away any chance of pushing Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make a deal with the Palestinians. He has lost any hope of persuading the Arabs to support his campaign against Iraq. He has let go any prospect of convincing the Egyptians or the Saudis or the Syrians of accepting Washington's brokership of the "peace process". The Arab-Israeli crisis is now in free fall.

Stowaway's American dream ends in Suez canal

IT WAS a definitely a case of being neither home nor dry. The Egyptian authorities reported yesterday that they had captured a stowaway from Georgia (the republic in the Caucasus, not the state in America) who threw himself out of a ship's hold, apparently convinced that he was hurling himself into the territorial waters of the United States.

Obituary: Sir Anthony Fell

IN 1956, when he was campaigning to succeed Anthony Eden as Conservative Party leader and prime minister, Harold Macmillan showed himself at his most politically adroit. The party - and the country - was still riven by the Suez crisis and its consequences. With a legerdemain which was peculiarly his own, Macmillan managed to persuade most supporters of the war against Egypt, and most opponents of it, that he was on both their sides.

Falmouth coastguard saves abandoned Suez sailors

The distress signal went out across the world. Four Ukrainian sailors trapped in the Suez canal on an abandoned ship were desperate for help. But only coastguards in Falmouth, Cornwall, responded to the 2,900-ton Prosper when it signalled for help last week.

Where in the Empire will you go this year?

The handover of Hong Kong will further shrink the scope for Brits who want to travel to the colonies. Jeremy Atiyah looks at the remaining options

Brookshaw resumes a pilgrimage

GRAND NATIONAL: Mudahim's victory in Ireland reinforces the claims of Lord Gyllene; Richard Edmondson talks to a trainer with a record of Aintree family success
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there