News

Cutbacks have left the UK without a single warship specifically tasked with protecting the country's shores for the past month, the Ministry of Defence confirmed today.

Protesters have taken to the streets to show their increasing anger at Egypt's ruling generals

HSBC accused of helping Egypt generals stifle dissent

Human rights groups and NGOs have accused HSBC bank of colluding in a campaign of intimidation which they say is being waged against them by Egypt’s ruling military council.

Prince offers $1m to seize Israelis

A Saudi prince has increased a reward to $1m for the capture of any Israeli soldier to be swapped for Palestinian prisoners.

UK ships to be armed to ward off Somali piracy

Merchant shipping owners warned yesterday that a policy to allow British vessels sailing off Somalia to carry armed guards is at best a "short-term" measure and could lead to an escalation of violence by pirates.

Assad: Intervention in Syria will cause 'earthquake'

Syrian president Bashar Assad has warned Western intervention against his regime would cause an "earthquake" that would "burn the whole region".

UK ships will be able to carry armed guards - Cameron

British merchant ships sailing off the coast of Somalia will soon be able to carry armed guards to ward off pirate attacks, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Sunday.

Patrick Cockburn: The Army won't face the truth about Afghanistan and Iraq

World View: Both British campaigns were ill-conceived and poorly executed: military defeats dressed up as victory. And much of the blame lies with the generals

Kenya to stay in Somalia until 'threat' is gone

Kenyan troops will stay in southern Somalia until Kenyans feel safe again, the chief of Kenya's armed forces said today, raising questions about whether Kenya risks becoming bogged down in an open-ended occupation of its war-ravaged neighbour.

Syria cracks down on deadly protests

The Syrian opposition's two main activist groups, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordinating Committees, said shells slammed into the Baba Amr district of Homs.

Further unrest in town that sparked Arab Spring

The leader of the Islamist party that won Tunisia's first free election appealed for calm yesterday in the town where the Arab Spring began – and accused forces linked to the ousted president of fanning violence there.

48 hours: Agadir, Morocco

New flights, balmy days and absorbing culture make this Moroccan city an enticing option. By Nick Boulos

Robert Fisk: What the killing of Gaddafi means to Syria

Two days before Gaddafi was murdered, I was reading the morning newspapers in Beirut and discovered a remarkable story on most front pages.

Syrian security forces 'kill 30 protesters'

Syrian security forces opened fire on protesters and hunted them down in house-to-house raids, killing about 30 people, activists said today.

Car bomb kills anti-terror chief in Yemen

A car bomb killed the head of the anti-terror force in Yemen's restive southern Abyan province, a Yemeni security official said.

Court 'in talks with Gaddafi son'

The International Criminal Court is in indirect negotiations with Muammar Gaddafi's son about his possible surrender for trial, the chief prosecutor said today.

Profits up at French oil firm Total

Soaring crude prices have boosted French oil firm Total's third-quarter profits despite a weak dollar.

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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
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
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?