Arts and Entertainment

One of the most brutal battles of the Second World War was the Nazi offensive against Stalingrad where atrocities were committed on both sides and the soldiers also had to contend with starvation and freezing conditions during a lengthy siege.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: William Hague swims around the fishy issue of Iran

To contrast the attitudes of the US Congress and the British Parliament, start with Iran. Today, the palpable welcome by MPs for Tehran’s suspension of high-level  uranium enrichment was matched only by anxiety about the UN excluding Iran from the Syria talks that start today in Switzerland.

Syria report: One is reminded of Nazi Germany

Everyone knows that the Assad regime – from father Hafez onwards – has employed torture and executions to preserve the doubtful purity of the Baath party

Syrian refugees wait with their belongings next to railway tracks after crossing the border into Turkey

Government accused of blocking Syrian refugees from entering Britain in order to hit immigration targets

MPs and peers from both coalition parties urge Government to change its mind

As attention turns to Geneva, Assad is starving millions of Syrians

6.3 million people are now in critical need of food

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during press conference in Moscow on 17 January 2014. He has since called the UN's withdrawal of its invitation to the Syrian peace talks to Iran

Syria peace talks: Russian Foreign Minster says withdrawing Iran's invitation is 'a mistake, but not a catastrophe'

His words come after the UN offered Iran a place at Wednesday's meetings on Sunday, which had been withdrawn by Monday

Salil Shetty, the head of Amnesty International

'Politics before people': EU leaders have no credibility to pressure other nations on human rights, says Amnesty International head Salil Shetty

Syrian refugees are languishing unwelcome on its borders, migrants are dying at sea, and the Roma face unacceptable discrimination, he says

Two horrific images showing men tortured by strangulation in Syria

Torture in Syria: Photos may be proof of 'industrial-scale killing' carried out by Assad regime

Images leaked by defector whose job was to 'take pictures of killed detainees'

The News Matrix: Tuesday 21 January 2014

UN withdraws Iran’s invitation to talks

Ms Cooper said it we should not 'turn our backs' on the crisis

MPs revolt over failure to admit Syrian refugees as Yvette Cooper condemns minister's dismissal of 'token' impact

The Coalition is under mounting pressure from Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs to perform a U-turn to allow some Syrian refugees to come to Britain.

Blair meeting with troops in Basra, Iraq in 2003

The day I tried (and failed) to arrest Tony Blair for war crimes: Barman attempts to detain former PM at trendy Shoreditch restaurant

One is an internationally renowned statesman; the other was a barman working at one of east London’s hippest restaurants. But it was the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who came out on top in an unusual clash on Friday. He managed to use his years of verbal dexterity – some would put it less politely – to talk himself out of what could have been a humiliating situation: a citizen’s arrest.

Syrian opposition back out of peace talks after UN invites Iran to attend

‘Geneva II’ conference could be in jeopardy after UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon invites Iran to preliminary meeting

The News Matrix: Monday 20 January 2014

Shoplifting climbs to nine-year high

A Syrian rebel support group has threatened to blow up the Atomium in Brussels

Jihadists construct the Atomium bomb: YouTube video threat to Belgian tourist attraction

A plot to attack the Belgian capital stokes fears Europe will targeted by radicalised fighters returning from Syria. Charlotte McDonald-Gibson reports from Brussels

Robert Fisk: Egyptians – or 98.1% of them – carry on a proud tradition

This is such stuff as dreams are made on, enough to banish any nightmares troubling the sleep of Egypt’s army commander, General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi

A child refugee from the northern province of Raqqa in Syria, reacts from the cold weather in a Syrian refugee camp beside the Lebanese border town of Arsal, in eastern Bekaa Valley

We must offer a place of safety to those fleeing the Syrian conflict

The UN has called on western governments to offer 30,000 resettlement places

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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
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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