News A Syrian woman carries a child on her shoulder at a refugee camp in Jordan

Some Conservative MPs have criticised the U-turn by David Cameron under which about 500 refugees from Syria will be allowed to enter Britain.

UN agencies issue rare joint appeal for action to end bloodshed in Syria

UN says at least 70,000 people have been killed since start of conflict

Dr Congo: Army officers held for rape of 126 women

The Kinshasa government has suspended a dozen senior military officers and is interrogating suspects in connection with a mass rape incident in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

France begins troop withdrawal ahead of UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

France has started withdrawing its troops from Mali after an operation to help local forces push back an offensive by Islamist rebels, an army spokesman said.

Guard duty: A North Korean soldier keeps watch on South Korea last week from the truce village of Panmunjom

South Korea backtracks on nuclear test claim as tensions continue to rise across region

A government official said that Mr Ryoo had intended to say that North Korea has long been ready to conduct a nuclear test

A major operation to airlift thousands of tonnes of military equipment from Afghanistan has begun as troops prepare to leave the country

Afghan military equipment is airlifted back to Britain

A huge airlift to bring thousands of tons of military equipment back from Afghanistan to the UK has begun, ahead of the full withdrawal of British troops by the end of next year.

Hamas wants to educate boys and girls at separate schools in Gaza

Palestinian boys and girls in Gaza will be educated at separate schools if a new law proposed by Hamas comes into force.

Did North Korea 'Photoshop' its sabre-rattling marine landings photograph?

Sharp-eyed commentators are asking whether an image released showing a military exercise taking place in North Korea was actually photoshopped

QTWTAIN: Could Angelina Jolie be the first female US President?

William Hague and Angelina Jolie to highlight problem of warzone rape on visit to Africa

Foreign secretary William Hague will travel with Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie to Africa this week to raise awareness of warzone rape.

Blind justice: Candlelit vigil for the victim of the New Delhi gang rape and murder

Muslims join pledge on women's rights

Hardliners defied as historic blueprint to tackle violence against girls and women is agreed at the United Nations

Last month, North Korea launched its third nuclear test.

US to boost missile defences as North Korean nuclear threat grows

$1 billion move follows increasingly aggressive rhetoric from the secretive regime 

Tackling FGM, violence against women and forced marriage around the world

High on the agenda was women’s political participation, ending female genital cutting, early and forced marriage, trafficking, and violence against women

Khmer Rouge genocide tribunal thrown into chaos as Ieng Sary, one of the three men standing trial, dies

The Khmer Rouge genocide tribunal was today facing fresh turmoil after it was announced that one of the three men standing trial for war crimes had died in hospital.

The UN Disengagement Observer Force, which has monitored the border between Syria and Israel under the terms of a 1974 ceasefire, where the 21 hostages worked

UN hostages held on Syria-Israel border freed

Group, from the Philippines, transferred to Jordan after three days of captivity

Syria: Clashes erupt in area near Golan Heights where UN peacekeepers are being held hostage by rebels

Clashes between Syrian rebels and regime forces erupted today near a village where UN peacekeepers are being held hostage, an activist said, possibly complicating efforts to free them.

North Korean soldiers carry out combat training in a picture released yesterday by the North Korean Central News Agency

North Korea cancels non-aggression pact with South as UN votes for new sanctions over missile tests

Pyongyang defied existing sanctions to conduct a nuclear test last month to provoke the US

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
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Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
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Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
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Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
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Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
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Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
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Ross Burden pictured in 2002
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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