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

Tunisian migrants flee to Sicilian island

Nearly 1,000 people escaping the turmoil in Tunisia landed on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa yesterday, in what the Italian government has proclaimed is a humanitarian emergency.

Stephen Day: Tunis, Cairo, where next? A turning point in history

The events that began in Tunisia on 14 January may well prove to be one of those great turning points in world history. While eyes are glued to events in Egypt, let us not forget that the lead was taken by Tunisia, now advancing steadily towards a new, stable future. Why Tunisia, why Egypt and where will it go next?

Middle East celebrates Mubarak's fall

Celebrations have erupted across the Middle East after Hosni Mubarak stepped down as Egypt's president.

Hague pledges aid for 'reform' on Tunis visit

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, yesterday visited Tunisia, the birthplace of the popular protests which have swept through the Arab world, and pledged increased aid to lay the basis for democratic institutions.

Murray pulls out of Davis Cup match

Andy Murray, playing for the first time since the Australian Open when he meets Marcos Baghdatis in Rotterdam tonight, has decided not to make himself available for Britain's next Davis Cup match against Tunisia in Bolton next month. However, the world No 5 has told Leon Smith, Britain's captain, that he hopes to play in their following tie in July.

French minister under fire for Tunisian flights

The French Foreign Minister, Michèle Alliot-Marie, is struggling for her political life after a series of revelations and misstatements about a luxurious holiday and trips in private jets amidst popular revolt in Tunisia.

Tunisian police kill protesters

Police fired at an angry crowd of 1,000 attacking the police station in the northwestern town of Kef on Saturday, killing two people and injuring 17 others, the Interior Ministry said.

TUI could lose £30m from unrest in Egypt

The tour operator Tui Travel has admitted that the political and civil unrest in Egypt and Tunisia could knock up to £30m off its second-quarter revenues. The setback in the two North African countries came as the group behind Thomson Holidays posted reduced losses for the previous three months.

Fawaz Gerges: Army holds the fate of Mubarak in its hands – and he knows it

If President Mubarak's support was representative of the population, you would have expected tens of thousands to come out in full force over the last week. But the ruling party hasn't been able to mobilise people. It isn't a lack of resources: it's simply that there are very few who would go out on a limb to defend them.

Jordan's king sacks cabinet amid street protests

The king of Jordan today sacked his government in the wake of street protests and asked an ex-army general to form a new cabinet, the country's Royal Palace said.

Davos ends with promise for poor

Business leaders rounded off this year's World Economic Forum with a call to make sure the poor benefit more from any global economic revival.

Thousands greet Islamist leader's return from exile to Tunisia

The leader of Tunisia's largest Islamist movement returned from exile in Britain yesterday to be greeted by thousands of supporters celebrating the arrival of the "lost leader".

Al Jazeera shut down as Mubarak fights for control of airwaves

Opinionated, critical and more than a little frenzied in its reporting, the Al Jazeera network's aggressive style has irked Arab governments by shining an unwelcome spotlight on dissent.

Tunisian leader's brother-in-law seeks asylum in Canada

The Canadian government said the brother-in-law of ousted Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has applied for refugee status in Canada, effectively blocking efforts to extradite him to the North African country.

Oliver Miles: Egypt must find its own way without Western interference

Don't believe anybody who tells you they know what's going to happen next in the Middle East. What we have seen in Tunisia and Egypt amounts to a revolutionary situation. Revolutions are unpredictable. It seems likely that the regimes which have existed for a generation are finished, though even that is not certain, still less what will take their place. There are also disturbances in Yemen and Jordan, and ripples or more in other countries too. But a revolution, unlike a coup d'état or a military takeover, takes a least a number of days to reach the critical point and that has not happened elsewhere yet.

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