Russia’s Liliya Shobukhova: the marathon runner ran race after race untroubled by the fear of suspension despite showing blood values which were off the charts. Photograph: Sean Dempsey/PA

The soothing noises regarding Russia’s presence at next summer’s Olympic Games in Rio became even more soothing on Friday, with the International Olym(...)

 Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. Western powers want his removal from office as part of a Syrian peace deal. Photograph: EPA/Syrian Arab News Agency

“Assad must go,” is the constant refrain from US president Barack Obama, French president François Hollande, British prime minister David Cameron and (...)

Syrian migrants and refugees on their way through Turkey. In the absence of a safe zone inside Syria, Turkey may be unable to prevent refugees from entering, and subsequently exiting to Europe. Photograph: AFP Photo/Bulent kilic/AFP/Getty Images

Russia’s recent intervention in the Syrian Civil War has further complicated what was already the most complex conflict of this century. It is likely (...)

The vectors of history pivot on poor decisions made by powerful people. Hitler twisting the point of his Axis from Britain to the USSR in 1940. JFK(...)

European Space Agency      satellite: It is hoped the agency’s latest venture will help pave the way for manned missions to the moon. Photograph: Stephane Corvaja/AFP/ESA

A pathfinding mission to land a robot probe on an unexplored region of the moon is expected to be approved by the European Space Agency (ESA) next yea(...)

Kohei and Tomoko Yamauchi, who returned to Naraha after the evacuation order was lifted, inside their house. Photograph: Androniki Christodoulou

The home of Kohei and Tomoko Yamauchi bears little sign of the disaster that forced them to abandon it. On a freezing night in March 2011, the couple(...)

Dubliner Mark Walsh: “My break came when I was asked to work on a documentary about Salman Rushdie”

In the mid-1980s, Dubliner Mark Walsh, following college, was “attracted to the louche cosmopolitanism of West Berlin”, preferring to live “on a wa(...)

Belarussian journalist and writer Svetlana Alexievich, the 2015 Nobel literature winner, following a news conference in Minsk, Belarus on Thursday.  Photograph: Sergei Grits/AP

Svetlana Alexievich, a Belarussian journalist and prose writer, won the Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday “for her polyphonic writings, a monumen(...)

Uphill battle: the aftermath of air strikes in Kafr Nabel, a town in Idlib province. Photograph: Hadi al-Abdallah via AP

The timeline of Syria’s grinding civil war is dotted with illusory turning points. These were atrocities or grim milestones that the world assumed wou(...)

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s decision this week to launch air strikes on Syria marks a dramatic escalation of foreign involvement in a 4-year-old civil war in which every major country in the region has a stake. Photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters 1:29

Russia bombed Syria for a third day on Friday, mainly hitting areas held by rival insurgent groups rather than the Islamic State fighters it said it w(...)