Arts and Entertainment Khaled Hosseini: his interests in this novel are the human and the personal

After 'The Kite Runner' and 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' sold 38 million copies, the author had to dig deep for No3. He's struck pay dirt again

Karzai's brother 'on CIA payroll'

US engagement under question after deal with suspected drug dealer

Leading article: Mr Obama must take his time

This month has seen the heaviest US death toll in the eight years of war in Afghanistan. By yesterday, 55 soldiers had lost their lives, 14 of them in air crashes earlier this week. Most of the others were killed by the roadside bombs – known as improvised explosive devices – that have been the scourge of British troops in Helmand Province. Then yesterday it was disclosed that Matthew Hoh had become the first senior US diplomat in Afghanistan to resign, citing his disagreement with US policy. His resignation, he said, was based not on how the US was pursuing the war, but "why and to what end".

Presidential challenger talks tough on Afghan poll

New demands come on bloodiest day for American troops in four years

14 US deaths in two Afghan helicopter crashes

A series of helicopter crashes killed 14 Americans in insurgent-wracked Afghanistan today, the US military said. It was one of the deadliest days of the war for US troops.

Afghan contenders rule out power-sharing deal

The Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, and his opposition challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, have both ruled out a power-sharing deal before the run-off presidential election is held in two weeks, saying the second round must be held as planned in order to bolster democracy in their war-ravaged country.

Afghan run-off may force US hand on troops

Obama ponders reinforcements as Kabul authorities face struggle to ensure fair vote

Leading article: Mr Karzai bows to the inevitable

Once the extent of fraud in the Afghan election had been established, even to the approximate degree that was possible, something clearly had to be done. The choice, presented to President Hamid Karzai on many occasions after the election by US and UN officials, lay between agreeing to hold a second round of voting or starting coalition negotiations with the runner-up, Abdullah Abdullah.

Relief for the US as Karzai concedes election run-off

Doubts over whether fresh ballot can be set up before the winter closes in

Paddy Ashdown: Afghanistan's future lies in strengthening its tribal structures, not in its corrupt government

No one should doubt what the new vote will cost - not just in treasure but in blood

Runoff ordered in Afghan election marred by fraud

Afghanistan's election commission today ordered a November 7 runoff in the disputed presidential poll after a fraud investigation dropped incumbent Hamid Karzai's votes below 50 per cent of the total. Karzai accepted the finding and agreed to a second round vote.

Karzai resists run-off vote despite fraud ruling

Pressure mounts with watchdog's claim one third of Afghan ballots were faked

Inquiry floors Karzai's victory hopes

UN-backed fraud investigators today threw out nearly a third President Hamid Karzai's votes from the country's disputed August election. The findings set the stage for a runoff between him and his top challenger.

Pressure piles on Karzai as Afghan waiting game drags on

President threatens to defy UN on eve of release of corruption probe findings

Leading article: Afghanistan needs a legitimate government

Evidence of electoral fraud must not be brushed under the carpet
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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own