A video grab image from 2005 shows Sajida al-Rishawi, who tried to blow herself up at a hotel in Amman. Islamic State wants her released from a Jordanian prision in return for the release of air force pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh. Photograph: Jordan TV/Reuters

While Muath al-Kasaesbeh is highly respected, Sajida al-Rishawi has blood on her hands

Egyptian youths shout slogans at a protest in Cairo yesterday commemorating the anniversary of the 2011 uprising. Photograph: Mohamed Shokry Algarnoussi/EPA

Clashes between police and protesters on anniversary of struggle leave dozens hurt

A Houthi fighter  in Sanaa. Yemen’s  rebels have welcomed proposed concessions but their gunmen still hold positions outside the presidential palace. Photograph: Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Hadi decision marks abrupt turnaround after power-sharing deal was agreed

An airstrike from US-led coalition in the city of Kobani, Syria, in November. Islamic State laid siege to Kobani, in September.  The fighting continues with most residents having fled but the city is being defended by the People’s Protection Units (YPG). Photograph: Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

Lack of coherence in US foreign policy collides with local matrix of loyalties

A supporter of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak celebrates after a court in Cairo found in his favour. Photograph: EPA

Court rules proper procedures not followed in case

A street vendor sells bananas close to a market in Cairo. Photograph:  Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

Government accused of moving too slowly

 Egyptian Coptic Pope Tawadros II (left), and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (centre), speak at the Coptic Cathedral of Saint Marcos in Cairo. Photograph: Khaled Elfiqi/EPA

Egyptian president surprises congregation with speech at Coptic Christmas Eve service

The trial of Irish teenager Ibrahim Halawa (above) is set to open on Tuesday in a court at the massive Tora Prison compound on the edge of Cairo

The 19-year-old has been charged with murder and participating in an illegal protest

Ireland’s ambassador Isolde Moylan with Palestinian president Yasser Arafat, whom she met dozens of times, in his compound in Ramallah in 2000

Isolde Moylan, who retires this year, recalls the more challenging postings of her career

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