News Nearly half the people surveyed in Lebanon thought no head covering should be worn by women

A major new social-attitudes survey on head covering in the Middle East finds that few people are in favour of the burka

Letters: Climate change energy review

At first reading, the Committee on Climate Change's Renewable Energy Review appears complimentary to the engineering community. It identifies the key barriers to rebuilding our energy supply infrastructure as finance and planning, not whether the technology will work or whether industry has the capacity to deliver, install and maintain the equipment in sufficient quantities.

BG hit by turmoil in Egypt and Tunisia

BG missed market hopes for underlying pre-tax profits for the first quarter yesterday after the FTSE 100-listed group's oil and gas production was hit by civil unrest in Egypt and Tunisia.

Agnès Poirier: Both leaders are prisoners of a resurgent right wing

Silvio Berlusconi and Nicolas Sarkozy haven't agreed on very much about immigration of late, but yesterday they found common cause on at least one point: the Schengen agreement needs to change.

Italy and France ask EU to revise Schengen border treaty

Italy and France asked the European Union today to revise the Schengen border treaty that permits passport-free travel through Europe to take into account "exceptional" situations like the recent massive flood of Tunisian immigrants.

French refuse entry to immigrants from Italy

A train carrying Tunisian immigrants from Italy was halted at the French border yesterday in an escalation of an international dispute over the fate of North African migrants fleeing political unrest for refuge in Europe.

Album: Matthew Halsall, On the Go (Gondwana)

The Manchester trumpeter's third album begins and ends with an up-tempo, hard-bop-played-fairly-softly, feel.

Sea and air patrols to stem tide of migrants

Italy and France are setting up joint sea-and-air patrols to try to block Tunisian migrants from sailing to European shores. Rome and Paris have been sparring fiercely over what to do about the more than 20,000 Tunisians who sailed across the Mediterranean to Italy in recent weeks after political upheaval in their North African homeland.

Berlusconi tax fraud hearing continues

Prosecutors are arguing for fraud charges against Premier Silvio Berlusconi in what would be his fourth ongoing trial.

Berlusconi to remove migrants from island

The Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, promised yesterday to clear thousands of Tunisian migrants from Lampedusa by the weekend after an outcry over a humanitarian crisis on the tiny southern island.

Yemen: President 'to step down' to secure peaceful transition

A deal on a peaceful transition of power in Yemen is imminent and will be based on an offer by President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down by the end of the year, the Foreign Minister, Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, said yesterday.

It's good to get out of the house, Assange tells Cambridge Union

He has perfected the art of spilling other people's secrets, but Julian Assange's appearance last night at the Cambridge Union Society (CUS) was a far from transparent affair.

Prince should be sacked, says ex-ambassador

The continuing scrutiny over the Duke of York's business links is seriously damaging Britain's reputation abroad, a retired ambassador has warned the Government.

Abdullah forces fire on crowds ahead of planned 'Day of Rage'

Absolutist monarchy uses stun grenades to carry out its threat against protesters

Thousands flee Tunisia as sea calms

The return of calm conditions to the Mediterranean Sea has seen a fresh wave of fleeing North African migrants threatening to overwhelm the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa. More than 1,000 illegal immigrants landed between 6pm on Sunday and 11am on Monday, carried on 12 boats from Tunisia, coastguards report. The island's reception centre was again unable to cope and Interior Minister Roberto Maroni ordered more flights to take the migrants to other centres in southern Italy. More than 7,000 migrants from Tunisia have arrived in Italy, mainly in Lampedusa, since President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown in January.

Victory over Tunisia, but GB pair make it hard slog

Considering that even Tunisia's players admit their country is more successful at handball and petanque, Britain should not have been expecting anything other than an emphatic victory in this weekend's Davis Cup tie.

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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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
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas