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‘Geneva II’ conference could be in jeopardy after UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon invites Iran to preliminary meeting

Avigdor Lieberman urges foreign powers to press for Palestinian elections to unseat President Mahmoud Abbas

Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has formally urged Western powers and Russia to press for Palestinian elections as a means of unseating President Mahmoud Abbas whom he blamed for a rise in “activity against Israel” .

David Cameron intervenes in Adam Jones Qatar 'kidnap' case

Prime Minister David Cameron has intervened personally to help a 12-year-old boy who wrote him a letter last year pleading for help after his family allegedly took and kept him in Qatar under false pretences, Downing Street confirmed today.

Lutalo Muhammad: 'I really want to keep the momentum going so I can go into Rio and make sure there is no doubt this time - then I can be talking to you with an Olympic gold medal around my neck.'

Taekwondo: Team GB's Lutalo Muhammad focused on Rio gold

Olympic taekwondo bronze medallist Lutalo Muhammad intends to leave no doubts over why he should be leading Team GB's charge for gold at Rio 2016.

Syrian president Assad appoints Wael Nader al-Halq as new PM

Syrian President Bashar Assad has appointed a new prime minister to replace one who defected this week to neighbouring Jordan.

Mr Grossman acknowledged in the liberal daily Haaretz that a nuclear-armed Iran was a “real danger”. But he said an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities “could turn out to be the biggest mistake ever by an Israeli government.”

Leading novelist David Grossman challenges Israel over failure to oppose unilateral strike on Iran

He also described Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as having a “megalomaniacal” vision

Adrian Hamilton: We've got the wrong fears over Syria

The intensifying civil war in Syria has set off a storm of anguish over the ramifications for the region. There's not a television report or political speech that doesn't harp on about the danger of sectarian conflict spreading to adjoining countries.

Prom 9: Barenboim/West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall, London

Audacious, perhaps, to lure an audience of thousands with promises of Beethoven, then let Pierre Boulez steal the show. Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra placed Boulez’s Dérive 2, a work for 11 musicians that lasts for 50 unbroken minutes, at the core of the first evening of its complete Beethoven symphonies cycle. The result: a revelation.

Robert Fisk: Where is a Goya who could chronicle today's conflict?

The Long View: Women dragged off for rape, men shot by death squads – such atrocities take place by the hour

Iran issues new oil blockade warning

Iran could prevent even “a single drop of oil” passing through the Strait of Hormuz if its security is threatened, a naval chief said today, as tensions simmer over Tehran's nuclear programme.

Suicide bomber targets police academy in Yemen

At least 10 people died in the blast, and dozens more were injured, including seven critically after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives outside a police academy in the Yemen capital Sanaa, a security official said.

The Levy report rejects a 2005 report that unauthorised West Bank outposts were illegal

Netanyahu urged to keep illegal outposts

Report denying Israeli occupation of West Bank could unsettle talks with Palestinians

Al-Qa'ida 'online propaganda expert' arrested in Britain

A London man has been arrested on suspicion of helping to design and publish online propaganda for an al-Qa'ida offshoot behind an electronic magazine credited with spreading the group’s ideology and its terrorist tactics around the globe.

Donald Macintyre: Nothing resonates like the mistreatment of minors

The charge that Israel violates international law in its treatment of Palestinian prisoners in general and child prisoners in particular is hardly new.

New attempt to break deadlock over Iran nuclear activities

Iran and six world powers have launched a new attempt to break deadlocked negotiations meant to reduce international tensions over Tehran's nuclear activities.

Plus Markets sells its platform for £1

The beleaguered junior stock market Plus Markets yesterday sold its technical trading platform for a nominal £1 to its employees and other individuals.

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Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
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The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
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Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
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The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game