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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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Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape