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.

Pope Francis gives Christmas presents to 2,000 immigrants

Pope had gift packages delivered to the Dono di Maria homeless shelter in Rome

Fighting in South Sudan has claimed up to 500 lives in recent days

South Sudan is 'on the precipice' of civil war, President Obama warns

The US President has deployed a small military contingent to the country 'to protect American citizens and their property'

Foreign Office to evacuate 150 Britons from South Sudan

British nationals will be airlifted out of the capital Juba today amid fighting

Up to 500 killed in South Sudan as violence spreads, says UN

There are now fears the country is on the brink of civil war ‘along ethnic lines’

Car bomb kills two UN peacekeepers in Mali town Kidal

A car bomb has exploded in the Malian town of Kidal, killing at least two UN peacekeepers.

A French soldier patrols the streets of Bangui in the Central African Republic

After days of sectarian violence, French troops bring calm to the Central African Republic

Fighting between rival militias and random attacks on civilians has killed at least 400 people in three days

UN inspectors arrive in Tehran to visit Iranian nuclear facility

Inspectors from the UN nuclear agency have arrived in Tehran to visit a nuclear facility that has long been off-limits to outside experts, an Iranian news agency has said.

France moves quickly after winning UN backing for CAR operation

650 troops on the ground with more to follow, but Hollande vows to keep mission brief

Seleka soldiers race through Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, as gunfire and mortar rounds erupt, when at least 105 people were killed in sectarian violence

On the brink of genocide: UN approves force to stop escalation of bloodshed in CAR

The worst day of violence in the Central African Republic since Muslim-led rebels overthrew the Christian president in March has resulted in swift action from the United Nations

Mexican police find missing lorry carrying 'extremely dangerous' radioactive

Mexican police have found a container that held radioactive material and which was stolen by thieves as it was being transported near Mexico City, the country's national nuclear safety commission CNSNS has said.

There is mounting evidence that senior Syrian government officials, including President Bashar al-Assad are responsible for war crimes, the UN has said

Syria crisis: 'Massive evidence' implicates Bashar al-Assad in war crimes says UN

Navi Pillay, the United Nations human rights chief has said the highest level of Syrian government is responsible for crimes against humanity

There are 400 French soldiers already on the ground in the Central African Republic
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the government and opposition to help the conference succeed by taking steps to stop the violence

Syria: Government and opposition agree to peace talks

Syria's warring government and opposition are to meet for the first time in an attempt to halt the fighting that has killed more than 100,000 people.

Somalia woman arrested after saying she was raped by a colleague at gunpoint

The alleged victim remains in police custody after telling a radio station she had been sexually assaulted and held captive overnight

Poppy production in Afghanistan has increased

Poppy war can only be won by the Taliban

This year, 5,500 tons of opium will be produced in Afghanistan, 90 per cent of global supply

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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada