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.

Supporters of former Maldivian president and presidential candidate Mohamed Nasheed staged a protest in Male recently

Maldives to finally hold election after two failed attempts as archipelago island nation rocked by series of crises

After two failed attempts, the Maldives likely will hold its presidential election on Saturday as the three candidates have agreed on a voters' register, the president said today.

Celebrations in DR Congo as defeated M23 rebels abandon insurgency

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s M23 rebel group has declared an end to its 20-month insurgency and said it was ready to pursue a political solution after the army captured its last two strongholds.

M23 group to end rebellion in eastern Congo

A leader of the M23 rebel group in eastern Congo has said his movement is ending its rebellion after more than a year and a half of fighting the Congolese government.

Congolese M23 rebels in Goma in 2012

Congo rebels fire shots at UN helicopter

Helicopter came under fire as it flew over the M23 stronghold of Rumangabo

Syria civil war: UN expects four million more Syrians to flee next year

Agencies are preparing to launch a new aid appeal

A UN vehicle transporting a team of weapons inspectors arrives at a hotel in Damascus

Syria chemical weapons: Experts start destroying Bashar al-Assad's arsenal

The inspection team only crossed into Syria from neighbouring Lebanon on Tuesday

Syria crisis: Team overseeing destruction of chemical weapons begin work

The team overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons have begun work as deadly clashes raged on the edge of Damascus.

We are fighting al-Qa’ida, Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Moallem tells UN

The Syrian Foreign Minister has told the UN General Assembly that his government is fighting a war against militants linked to al-Qa’ida who eat human hearts and dismember people while they are still alive, then send their limbs to the family.

President Rouhani attacked by protesters in Iran following historic call with US President Barack Obama

Hardline protesters threw shoes and eggs at Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and chanted "death to America", following the first conversation between American and Iranian presidents in more than three decades during a 15 minute phone call yesterday evening.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon before the start of the Security Council meeting

Russia and US agree draft UN resolution to rid Syria of chemical weapons in 'important diplomatic step'

The UN Security Council could vote as soon as Friday night after Russia and the US agreed a draft resolution to rid Syria of chemical weapons, according to diplomats in New York.

The protests in Kadro, north of Khartoum

At least 30 protesters killed after Sudan fuel price hike

One analyst said the lethal crackdown showed the unrest ‘terrified the government’

Syrian crisis: UN Security Council agreed on ‘core points’ of resolution to destroy Assad’s chemical weapons

Russia warns that work is 'still going on' after foreign ministers from the five permanent members meet Ban Ki-moon in New York

French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius

Paralysis over action in Syria fuels calls for reform of moribund UN Security Council

Staring delegates at the General Assembly in the face this week is a crisis at the heart of the UN system, namely the sclerosis besetting the 15-member Security Council as demonstrated vividly by its inability to respond so far to the civil war in Syria. Not a few among them are taking notice.

Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, addresses the UN General Assembly in New York

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attacks 'violent' sanctions, but confirms he is ready for talks with West in UN address

The newly elected president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, confirmed Iran’s readiness to engage immediately in “time-bound and results-oriented” talks with western powers to resolve the stand-off over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions under certain conditions while also excoriating them for imposing “violent” sanctions on his country.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Barack Obama expected to engage with Iran's President Hasan Rouhani in UN nuclear talks

Leaders of US and Iran haven't had face-to-face contact in more than 30 years

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links