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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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas