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To contrast the attitudes of the US Congress and the British Parliament, start with Iran. Today, the palpable welcome by MPs for Tehran’s suspension of high-level  uranium enrichment was matched only by anxiety about the UN excluding Iran from the Syria talks that start today in Switzerland.

Litvinenko died in November 2006 after he was poisoned with polonium-210 while drinking tea at a meeting

Independent challenges secrecy at inquest into death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko

A state order to withhold sensitive evidence from the inquest into Alexander Litvinenko’s death on national security grounds will be challenged by media organisations including The Independent tomorrow.

David Cameron

David Cameron to deliver long-delayed EU referendum speech on Wednesday

Cameron will make the speech in central London ahead of Prime Minister’s Question Time

A student newspaper reveals the naughty times of politicians Maria Eagle and and Mark Fields at Oxford

Gove, Hague and Johnson feature in tales of Oxford hijinx found in student newspaper

Five-in-a-bed, 'nookie rooms' and midnight runs round medieval quads wearing little more than baby oil; the exploits of the country's current political elite in their undergraduate days at Oxford read more than a little bit like Brideshead Revisited. So it will come as no small embarrassment to them that it has all indeed been revisited.

Cabinet at war as ministers fight local hospital closures

Senior cabinet ministers have come out against plans to close hospital wards in their constituencies, in an apparent challenge to Department of Health plans to rationalise the NHS.

Cameron to deliver jinxed Europe speech

David Cameron will this week finally deliver his long-delayed speech promising a referendum on Britain’s relationship with the European Union.

'A very serious and dangerous situation': David Cameron chairs emergency meeting on Algerian hostage crisis

David Cameron chaired an emergency meeting today on the Algerian hostage crisis which Downing Street described as a “very serious and dangerous situation”.

Detainee ‘let down’ by ministers say former Guantanamo inmates

The Government has failed to honour promises to free the last British detainee in Guantanamo, former inmates of the camp said today.

Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain, By John Darwin

Conflict and paradox marked our imperial age. This masterly overview debunks many myths about it

EU stymied in attempt to bring an end to Israeli settlement plans

The European Union (EU) was investigating ways of pressing Israel to ditch a plan to build settlements in E1 today, but is expected to hold off on tough action soon despite international outrage over the decision.

Jewish settlers in the West Bank

Israeli settlement plans 'threaten two-state solution'

Britain and other EU governments warn Netanyahu he may lose Western support, amid reports that trade deals may be cancelled and ambassadors recalled

The Prime Minister is to meet Angela Merkel before the summit

Germany rounds on 'negative' Britain

Outburst by diplomat exposes the tensions between the two nations ahead of next month's EU budget summit

Malala Yousafzai faces ‘weeks if not months’ of therapy for head injuries sustained in attack

'When she fell, Pakistan stood': Taliban victim Malala Yousufzai's family arrive in UK

The 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban was reunited with her family yesterday – as her father spoke of his joy at the “miracle” of her treatment in Britain.

William Hague is aiming to recruit a new generation of James Bonds

Britain needs spies: William Hague searches for the next James Bond

The Foreign Secretary William Hague today launched a scheme aimed at recruiting the next generation of British spies.

In his keynote speech to the Conservative conference in Birmingham, Boris Johnson made a point of picking out the PM for praise

Boris Johnson cements position as leading Conservative party rival to David Cameron with provocative call to cut income tax for Britain’s highest earners

The Mayor of London was careful to pour praise on the Prime Minister for the 'fantastic job' he was doing

William Hague calls for global deal over cyber emergencies

An international cyber security summit starting today will hold discussions about setting up a hotline and a code of conduct between Western countries and Russia and China when dealing with emergencies.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine