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Hope for dementia drug breakthrough

Editorial: Peace prize in our time

No wonder the award of this year's Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union was greeted by sniggers. It seems silly enough to be lionising any political alliance. With the euro in meltdown, Catalonia threatening to secede from Spain, and the German Chancellor's visit to Athens greeted by angry crowds (and at least one Hitler impersonator), it starts to look like the committee in Oslo is making a joke.

Was Yasser Arafat murdered? The 'myth' that won't die

Israel says no, but most Palestinians disagree – and now France is investigating. By Donald Macintyre
The Palestinian leader was abruptly taken ill in 2004, went into a coma and died a few days later

France opens murder inquiry into Yasser Arafat's death

Family called for investigation after traces of poison found on his clothes

Arafat's widow asks French for inquiry into his 'murder'

Yasser Arafat's widow and daughter have formally demanded a French judicial investigation into his death after filing a complaint of "assassination" in a Paris court.

Yasser Arafat prepares to leave Ramallah in October 2004 to fly to Paris for treatment for what was then an unknown illness

Palestinian president approves Yasser Arafat autopsy

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has given his permission to exhume the remains of his predecessor Yasser Arafat, a top aide said.

Yasser Arafat prepares to leave Ramallah in October 2004 to fly to Paris for treatment for what was then an unknown illness

Was Yasser Arafat killed by radioactive poison?

Body of former Palestinian leader may be exhumed after polonium is found on clothes

Peter David: Long-serving writer on 'The Economist'

Few who have worked for The Economist can match the 28 years that Peter David gave so outstandingly to that magazine – and fewer still could match the range of his interests or the breadth of what he wrote about.

CBS veteran news man Wallace dies

Mike Wallace, the dogged American television news reporter and interviewer who took on politicians and celebrities in a 60-year career, has died. He was 93.

Suha Arafat has lived in Paris with her daughter since her husband's death in 2004

Arafat's widow considers role in politics to 'continue legacy'

Suha Arafat says Palestinians miss the democratic rule implemented by her husband

Anti-Syrian regime protesters demonstrate against Syrian President Bashar Assad in the Deir Baghlaba area in Homs province

Robert Fisk: What kind of Syria can survive this bitter battle for existence?

The violence grows worse. The Arab League throws up its hands in despair. Madame Clinton may huff and puff at the UN. But the Syrian regime and the stalwarts of the old Baath Party don't budge. Only the Arabs are unsurprised. For Syria – the Mother of One Arab People, as the Baathists would have it – is a tough creature, its rulers among the most tenacious in the Middle East, used to the slings and arrows of their friends as well as their enemies. Syria's "No" to anything but total Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights in return for peace is almost as famous as De Gaulle's "Non" to British entry to the EU.

Police fire tear gas at protesters in Romania

Romanian police fired tear gas and clashed with protesters during an anti-government rally, the third consecutive day of demonstrations against austerity cuts and falling living standards.

Palestinian leader hits back at claims that he 'sold out' to Israel

Palestinian officials were scrambling yesterday to head off a mounting political crisis by claiming that thousands of leaked communiqués documenting unprecedented concessions in favour of Israel were a mixture of fabrications and distortions.

Muslims gather in Makkah for the Hajj

Nearly three million Muslims have gathered for the annual hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Blair left office with 76 prime ministerial gifts

That Tony Blair was unable to deduce without outside help that it was, in the end, time to go seems all the more remarkable – because the former prime minister seems to have a keen interest in watches.

Donald Macintyre: Settlements still occupying minds in the West Bank

As long as there is occupation there will be resistance. This is a reaction to what the Israelis do
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there