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

Tunisia latest to highlight Britain's failings

Tunisia's Davis Cup team have a coach as their spare player and a captain who doubles up as their physiotherapist, but the result of the opening rubber against Britain here yesterday suggested that the result of this weekend's Europe Africa Zone Group Two tie is by no means a formality.

Tunisians tell of 'scary' build up to Davis Cup

James Ward, Britain's No 1 singles player in this weekend's Davis Cup tie against Tunisia in Bolton, said that most of the home team had had a difficult start to the year, but their indifferent form and niggling injuries cannot compare with their opponents' experiences. The Tunisians have had their preparations disrupted by their country's recent revolution, which ignited upheavals throughout the region.

Tunisia: Election date is set for July

Tunisia will hold an election on 24 July to choose a constituent assembly that will rewrite the constitution and chart the country's transition after the ousting of its veteran leader. In a speech last night, the interim president Fouad Mebazza, who has been in charge since Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was toppled on 14 January, said he and a caretaker government would stay in power until the election was held.

Letters: Hope for peace, be ready for war

As matters unfold in North Africa and the Middle East it is incumbent upon all those of a liberal disposition to hope for the best in respect of the emergence of genuine progressive democracies out of the growing chaos. But we must also prepare for the worst – a phalanx of snarling theocracies from Algeria to Iran.

Sarkozy forces Foreign Minister to quit over links to ousted Tunisian regime

The “Arab Spring” claimed its first high-profile victim in the West last night with the forced resignation of the French foreign minister, Michèle Alliot-Marie.

The Timeline: Self-immolation

100BC: Religious sacrifice

In the Lotus Sutra, the doctrine upon which Mahayana Buddhism is founded, the bodhisattva Medicine King offers himself to Buddha by performing various acts of self-mutilation, including burning parts of his body.

Tunisia gaffes force Sarkozy to consider new foreign minister

French Foreign Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie is expected to resign during the weekend after a series of gaffes over Tunisia which have tarnished President Nicolas Sarkozy's government, official sources said yesterday.

Fawaz Gerges: Saudi probably won't fall, but if it does the world will change

There is a revolution taking place in the Middle East. The young people are emboldened and confident in a way they have never been before, and what we have seen in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Libya could yet take hold in other countries in the region.

Airport police shoot crash driver

A driver has been shot and wounded by police after crashing his car through a window at Milan airport then threatening officers with a knife.

Tunisia: Deposed leader said to be 'gravely ill' after stroke

Former tunisian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was yesterday said to be gravely ill in Saudi Arabia, where he fled after being deposed.

Leading article: Freedom is not to be feared

Sparks from the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt are igniting fires big and small across the region. It is still far too early to know where, or whether, they may claim thrones or change regimes. But as was so evident with Egypt, change on this scale produces dilemmas for the West, and it is Libya that could now present the severest test.

Tunisia: Italy to give €100m to stem flow of migrants

The Italian government will give Tunisia €100m (£84m) to help to stem the tide of migrants fleeing political turmoil in the North African nation and arriving on the tiny Mediterranean island of Lampedusa.

Iran: MPs demand execution of opposition leaders

Conservative Iranian parliamentarians yesterday called for the country's main opposition leaders to be put to death after protests in Tehran in solidarity with the revolt in Egypt.

Robert Fisk: Three weeks in Egypt show the power of brutality – and its limits

As he leaves Cairo, our writer reflects on the lessons of an extraordinary uprising for protesters and police alike

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game