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

With the temperamental weather that these fair isles are blessed with, it's understandable that we make the most of the sun on those rare appearances that it shines.

Smooth operator: The best home products for longer lasting hair removal

Give yourself a break from daily depilation, says Rebecca Gonsalves

An aerial view of destruction in the al-Khalidiyah neighbourhood of the central Syrian city of Homs

Setback for Syrian rebels as army takes Homs district

As siege for strategic central Syrian city reaches climax, opposition fears rebel fighters will not hold out much longer

<b>2022 World Cup</b><br/>
It's yet to happen, but when it does, surely the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will take some beating for a strange place to play the most prestigious sporting tournament in the world. Temperatures during the summer reach 50 degrees and the tiny alcohol restricted state will have to find some way to accommodate beer swilling fans from around the world.

Premier League chief Richard Scudamore wary of waging legal battle over winter World Cup

Moving the Qatar tournament would have a huge knock-on effect for domestic leagues

Tchenguiz brothers plan £2.5bn legal action over arrests by SFO

Property tycoons to seek damages after judge orders release of papers
Guards stand at a cell block at the renovated Abu Ghraib prison, now renamed Baghdad Central Prison and run by Iraqis

Abu Ghraib mass jailbreak heightens fears over future of Iraq

An extraordinary and violent jailbreak in the infamous Iraqi prison of Abu Ghraib is believed to have sprung free hundreds of extremists on Monday night. Suicide bombers blew open the prison gates, opening the way for an assault in which ten guards and four militants were killed. In Washington, US officials fear that the number of prisoners on the loose could total as many as 600, with a significant proportion known al-Qaeda operatives. What does this herald for regional stability and the "war on terror"?

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairing the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem yesterday

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu pledges referendum on peace deal with Palestinians

Benjamin Netanyahu used his weekly address to the Israeli cabinet today to reiterate his promise that any eventual peace deal with the Palestinians would be put to a referendum.

<b>2022 World Cup</b><br/>
It's yet to happen, but when it does, surely the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will take some beating for a strange place to play the most prestigious sporting tournament in the world. Temperatures during the summer reach 50 degrees and the tiny alcohol restricted state will have to find some way to accommodate beer swilling fans from around the world.

Sepp Blatter reiterates desire for winter 2022 World Cup - and decision could be made by October

Such a move would lead to huge upheaval in domestic leagues

Saeed al-Shihri, deputy leader of al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula

Confirmed: US drone strike killed key al-Qa'ida leader Saeed al-Shihri in Yemen

Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner was hit last year but Yemen branch has just announced death

Syrian government soldiers in the main square of the city of Qusayr, near the Lebanese border

Syria civil war: Britain increases military aid to Lebanon, to protect border

General Sir David Richards cites 'UK's commitment to Lebanon's stability, democracy and sovereignty'

Lebanon: Protesters gather in support of militant Ahmad al Assir

Large crowds poured into the streets in the troubled northern Lebanese city of Tripoli today in support of the radical Sunni sheikh Ahmad al Assir, whose followers fought fierce battles with the Lebanese army this week.

New Qatari emir refuses to ‘take direction’ from anyone

In his accession speech, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, who was handed power by his father on Tuesday in a rare example of a hereditary Arab ruler stepping down, said that the Gulf state would not “take direction” from anyone.

Syria civil war: Friends of Syria agree to supply 'all the necessary material' to rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad

Members also call for Hezbollah and other foreign fighters to pull out

John Kerry was among foreign ministers meeting in Doha

Syria civil war: Friends of Syria agree to supply 'all the necessary material' to rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad

Members also call for Hezbollah and other foreign fighters to pull out

Iran and South Korea qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

South Korea lost but still progressed to next summer's tournament

Hassan Rouhani has given his first news conference since being declared as Iran's new President-elect

No change on Iran's uranium enrichment and nuclear programme, says President-elect Hassan Rouhani

Hassan Rouhani has given his first news conference since being declared as Iran’s new President-elect, vowing to continue to enrich uranium and so putting him on a collision course with Western powers.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
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