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

Opposing teams claim wins in Afghan vote

President Hamid Karzai and top challenger Abdullah Abdullah positioned themselves today as the winner of Afghanistan's presidential election, one day after millions of Afghans braved dozens of militant attacks to cast ballots.

Robert Fisk: Democracy will not bring freedom

So they voted. But for what? Democracy? Certainly not "Jeffersonian" democracy, as President Obama reminded us. Yes, the Afghans wanted to vote. They showed great courage in the face of the Taliban's threats. But there's a problem.

In Afghanistan the bombs went off – but still millions voted

Against a backdrop of Taliban attacks, half the Afghan electorate turn out to have their say on the future of this war-torn state

Malalai Joya: Don't be fooled by this democratic façade – the people are betrayed

In hiding and in fear of her life, the Afghan MP and women's rights campaigner says the warlords have already won

Will Afghans defy Taliban and flock to the ballot box?

West fears over low turnout in Pashtun belt after brutal campaign of intimidation

Bomb strikes Nato convoy in Kabul

A Taliban suicide bomber attacked a Nato convoy on the outskirts of Kabul today killing at least seven people and wounding more than 50.

Soldiers killed in Afghanistan blast named

Three soldiers killed in a blast in Afghanistan ahead of this week's elections were today named by the Ministry of Defence.

Rocket hits palace two days before Afghan vote

A Taliban rocket struck the grounds of Afghanistan's presidential palace today, just two days before incumbent Hamid Karzai seeks re-election in tense polls that could go to a second round.

Now brutal warlord holds key to Afghan poll

Election overshadowed by Taliban threats and intervention of notorious mujahedin

Afghan women to miss out on vote in landmark election

Millions of Afghan women will be denied their chance to vote in presidential elections this week because there aren't enough female officials to staff the women-only polling stations.

Taliban send a deadly warning to Afghan voters

As the country prepares for elections this week, a car bomb has killed seven in Kabul. Rahim Faiez, Jason Straziuso and Fisnik Abrashi report

Karzai's secret U-turn on Afghan rape law

President sneaks through legislation without approval of parliament

Battle for hearts and votes reaches Taliban heartland

The ballots in Pashtun region could settle next week's crucial poll. Kim Sengupta reports from Helmand

Secret deal to keep Karzai in power

Afghan President's alliance with rival designed to prevent civil war after election

Obama ready to cut Karzai adrift

As support for Afghan leader wanes, rivals go to Washington for meeting with new President
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee