UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura announces the suspension of peace talks in Geneva on Tuesday. Photograph: Martial Trezzin/Keystone via APi

The main Syrian opposition and government have traded blame for the suspension of UN mediated talks to end the four-year old war in Syria, but sponsor(...)

Ashraf Fayadh was detained by the country’s religious police in 2013 in Abha, southwest Saudi Arabia, and rearrested and tried in early 2014. Photograph: Ashraf Fayadh/Instagram

A Saudi court has commuted the death sentence against a Palestinian poet on charges of apostasy and abandoning his Muslim faith to eight years in jail(...)

Philomena Canning tells Róisín the Eighth Amendment “isn’t effective” and undermines women’s safety.

Prominent Irish midwife Philomena Canning speaks to Róisín Ingle about her views on abortion and other issues on this week’s podcast. Canning is one (...)

French president François Hollande  welcomes Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani as he arrives at the Élysée Palace in Paris.  Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

France and Iran “opened a new chapter in our relations” during President Hassan Rouhani’s two-day visit to the French capital, President François Holl(...)

The State has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the world, according to a new study. Photograph: Anees Mahyoub/Reuters

The State has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the world, according to a detailed analysis of trends published in The Lancet. Just 55 per (...)

Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad was told to ‘step aside’ by US president Barack Obama in 2011. Photograph: EPA

The Syrian crisis might have been resolved in 2011 if US president Barack Obama had not declared on August 18th that year that his Syrian counterpart (...)

A Syrian protester waves a national flag at a rally  in June 2011.  Five years of this conflict have been too much, says UN envoy Staffan de Mistura. Photograph: AP Photo

The Saudi-backed Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee yesterday decided to boycott today’s long-awaited opening of talks in Geneva to end the(...)

 Walid Muallem, Deputy Prime Minister of Syria:  will head the government delegation to UN-brokered peace talks. Photograph: Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images

Syrian foreign minister Walid Muallem has been invited to head the government delegation to UN-brokered peace talks due to open in Geneva on Friday, R(...)

Iran president Hassan Rouhani said he was looking to shore up economic ties with European Union countries, as he started a four-day trip to Italy and France. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

France will receive Iranian president Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday and Thursday with all the pomp and ceremony of an official visit, including military(...)

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and US ambassador to France Jane Hartley, pay tribute to the victims of November 13th terror attacks in Paris, at the Place de la Republique. Photograph: Jacques Demarthon/AFP/Getty Images

The French writer and statesman André Malraux allegedly predicted that “the 21st century will be a century of religion or it will not be at all.” Th(...)