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.

Leading article: Afghanistan needs a legitimate government

Evidence of electoral fraud must not be brushed under the carpet

Pressure piles on Karzai as Afghan waiting game drags on

President threatens to defy UN on eve of release of corruption probe findings
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there