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Ashraf Ghani has the lead in the presidential election with 56.44 per cent of the votes

Afghanistan election: Ashraf Ghani leading in preliminary results

Former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, who led after the first round, claims voting was marred by fraud

Vets worked for 45 minutes to remove the chains and spikes that had dug into the elephant's leg

Elephant 'cries' while being rescued after 50 years of abuse in India

Raju is now at a sanctuary free of chains for the first time

Satellite image made available by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on 07 July 2014 showing typhoon Neoguri, the first super typhoon of 2014 heading towards Japan

Typhoon Neoguri: Japan braces for 'super typhoon' bringing 150mph winds and lashing rain

Typhoon Neoguri has been growing stronger as it travels north

North Korean cheerleaders members wave their national flags during the 2003 World Students Games opening ceremony in Daegu

North Korea sending cheerleaders to Asian Games in Seoul to soothe tensions with South

Communist leaders are fans of the American tradition

Newly ordained Jain monks in Hyderabad

The vegetarian town: They wouldn’t hurt a fly but the Jains upset Palitana with meat-free plea

Monks say that non-vegetarian food should not be permitted for sale in Palitana, but Muslims say the demands amount to discrimination

Family members of UK citizens killed in Indian violence 12 years ago urge British ministers to seek justice for the three men

The calls are ahead of Foreign Secretary William Hague and Chancellor George Osborne's visit to meet the country's new leader Narendra Modi this week

Torrential rainfall causes seven-metre-deep lake in China's Hunan province

Floods in several provinces across China have left over 100 dead

Mohammad Iqbal, 45, has admitted he strangled his first wife so that he could marry again

Farzana Parveen Lahore ‘honour killing’: Father of pregnant woman stoned to death in Pakistan charged with murder

Five members of Ms Parveen’s family indicted with torture and murder charges over horrific killing

Policemen block a street in the central district during the rally for greater democracy in Hong Kong on July 1, 2014

Hong Kong protests: Five members of pro-democracy group arrested

The arrests follow a 510,000-strong march on 1 July

An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard near barbed wire setup as barricade during restrictions in downtown area of Srinaga

Massive security and empty streets greet Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on first visit to Kashmir

India's new leader has been confronted by a massive security operation and almost empty streets as he makes his first visit to the long-contested region of Kashmir, where he vowed to boost development.

The payment of dowries by brides’ families was banned in India in 1961

Controversy as India's highest court says anti dowry laws being misused by 'disgruntled wives'

Activists fighting to protect women against abuse said the court ruling will make women more vulnerable

Maids are sometimes stereotyped by their country of origin with Burmese workers seen as compliant

Modern-day slavery? Shopping mall in Singapore found to be selling housemaids like commodities

Bukit Timah Shopping Centre has its maids standing under signs that offer low prices and maids that are willing to work without a day off

The young woman was taken to see a local pir or Sufi elder

Pakistan police investigate after young woman dies during exorcism

Police in Pakistan have launched a murder inquiry after a young woman was reportedly beaten to death by a Muslim holy man who was trying to “exorcise demons” from her.

Chinese muslims known as 'Uighurs' from Xinjiang Province pose for photos in front of a portrait of Mao Zedong before the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 3, 2013

China bans Ramadan: Fasting and ‘taking part in religious activities’ forbidden in controversial crackdown on minority Uighur Muslims

Statements from local government departments and schools say ban is to prevent Muslims from 'instilling religion' into public bodies

An investigation into the wherabouts of a number of Japanese citizens that went missing in North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s has been high up on the Japanese PM's political agenda since coming to power

Japan lifts sanctions on North Korea as Pyongyang agrees to investigate abduction claims

This will be the first diplomatic agreement made between the two Asian nations since a similar deal broke down in 2008

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
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Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
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peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
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Robyn Lawley
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i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
News
scienceScientists try to explain the moon's funny shape
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
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peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
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Arts and Entertainment
As Loki in The Avengers (2012)
filmRead Tom Hiddleston's email to Joss Whedon on prospect of playing Loki
Voices
voices In defence of the charcoal-furred feline, by Felicity Morse
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Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star