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.

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

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.

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A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried