Conal Urquhart

Sue Townsend, creator of Adrian Mole, dies aged 68

Sue Townsend, who achieved worldwide success with publication of her best-known work, "The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾", has died.

The Hobbit to be extended to three films

Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson will add a third film to turn the Tolkien novel into a trilogy, with the first set for release in December.

Cops kill naked man caught chewing off victim’s face

Police in Miami have shot a naked man whom they found biting the face of another man. But even then he didn't stop chewing. So they shot him again.

Stage set for violent death

Did public opinion turn on murdered director Juliano Mer-Khamis for performing plays that went against conservative Islamic values?

Israel’s Iron Dome defence in its infancy

The initial success of Israel's Iron Dome missile-defence system has been hailed as an example of "Jewish genius".

UN compilers split over Gaza report rebuttal

The UN has roundly rebuffed remarks by South African judge Richard Goldstone that cast doubt on the report into the Gaza war.

Israeli leader risks losing office

Israel's government faces fresh upheaval on Monday when the Labour party begins primaries for a new leader who could deal a final blow to Ehud Olmert's tenure as Prime Minister. The two leading contenders to take the party's helm from Peretz have said that they will work to get rid of Olmert.

Tunnels for hire as Gaza’s smugglers risk their lives

The sun has dropped below the horizon and the muezzins in Gaza and Egypt produce two distinct walls of sound at either side of the deserted strip that buffers the border. Darkness falls quickly on the no-man's land that used to be patrolled by Israeli tanks. The 100m-wide strip is a graveyard of bulldozed houses. Mounds of rubble and steel spikes are monuments to what used to be streets.

A tale of two families

Cowering from the bombs in the Tyre Rest House Resort, the coastal city's smartest hotel, along with 450 others, the Ahmad family had long since run out of food. Even if they made it to Beirut, the family of nine had no idea how they would pay for their flights to Denmark, where they have family and citizenship.

Palestinian minister takes $20-million into Gaza

The Palestinian foreign minister returned to the Gaza Strip on Wednesday from a trip abroad with an estimated -million packed in 12 separate suitcases, according to officials. Mahmoud Zahar, a member of Hamas, declared the amount he was carrying to Egyptian officials at the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

Egypt’s Bedouin fear they will take the blame

This week's Red Sea bombing has left the Bedouin people of the Sinai feeling three times injured. Four of their children were seriously injured, their tourism-dependent livelihoods are threatened, and once again they think they will be blamed for the bombs.

Israel won’t accept Hamas in poll

The Palestinian Authority will postpone parliamentary elections if Israel bars Palestinian residents of Jerusalem from participating. Israeli officials said they would not allow voting in East Jerusalem as part of the elections scheduled for January 25 if the Palestinian Islamic militant group Hamas was involved.

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