Exclusive: Iran to match stance with Russia in push for Syria deal

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (L), who arrived to attend the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), meets with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, Iran, November 23, 2015. Iran has decided to unify its stance with Russia’s in the push for a political deal to end Syria’s civil war, Iranian officials said, in a sign it could ease its ... Read More »

135 jobs in two-and-a-half years: the plight of Spain’s new working poor

Unemployment, the key issue defining the election on Sunday, stands at 21.6% , the highest in the EU after Greece. Photograph: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez He has taken on stints as a stable hand, been a door-to-door salesman and set up stages for local concerts: rarely does David Pena turn down a job. “In the past two a half years, I’ve ... Read More »

David Cameron’s savvy speech to EU leaders offers hope of referendum win

The prime minister was given the floor at a closed session to outline to the European Union’s heads of state why Britain needs a new deal with the EU. Photograph: Isopix When David Cameron was given the floor at a dinner of European heads of government on Thursday evening, it was a form of accolade unusual in EU summitry. According ... Read More »

Swiss city buys Ikea shelters to house refugees, then ditches them over fire risk

A safety test revealed the Ikea shelters do not live up to Swiss fire protection requirements. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images Agence France-Presse The Swiss city of Zurich has announced it will not use the 62 Ikea refugee shelters it has purchased to house asylum-seekers after a test showed they constituted a fire hazard. Amid growing numbers of refugees and other migrants ... Read More »

Hitler really did have only one testicle, German researcher claims

Speculation over Hitler’s private parts has been raging in Britain for decades. Photograph: Popperfoto The song sung in schoolyards by generations of British children mocking Adolf Hitler for only having “one ball” might be accurate after all. A German historian has unearthed the Nazi leader’s long-lost medical records, which seem to confirm the urban legend that he only had one ... Read More »

Fatal drug overdoses hit record high in US, government figures show

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports drug overdoses in the US rose in 2014, driven by surges in deaths from heroin and powerful prescription painkillers. Photograph: SIMON RAWLEY / Deaths from drug overdoses have surged across the US to record levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationwide, overdose deaths last year exceeded 47,000, more ... Read More »

South China Sea: US bomber angers Beijing with Spratly islands flypast

A US B-52 bomber flew near the Spratly archipelago, an area claimed by China. Photograph: AFP China has accused the US of “serious military provocation” after a B-52 bomber mistakenly flew within two nautical miles of Chinese-claimed territory in theSouth China Sea last week. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the incident involving the B-52 bomber took ... Read More »

UN security council adopts resolution on Syrian peace process

The security council votes at the United Nations. Photograph: Bebeto Matthews The UN security council has unanimously agreed a resolution endorsing an international roadmap for a peace process in Syria, a rare show of unity among major powers on a conflict that has claimed more than 250,000 lives. “This council is sending a clear message to all concerned that the ... Read More »

Yemen govt forces capture northwestern city as peace talks go on

Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi sits during a meeting with government officials in the country’s southern port city of Aden, December 1, 2015. Yemeni troops loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi gained control of an important northwestern city on Friday, residents and tribal sources said, as a supposed ceasefire appeared close to collapse. The one-week truce was declared to aid ... Read More »

Spain gears up for most uncertain election in 40 years

Supporters of Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sanchez, one of the four leading candidates for Spain’s national election, hold signs that read, ‘Pedro president’, during an election campaign rally in Torremolinos, southern Spain, December 17, 2015. Spain faces its most uncertain national election in 40 years on Sunday with newcomer parties poised for big gains against the traditionally dominant ... Read More »