News

Dharmender Singh Phangurha was a prospective Labour MEP whose promising political career was cut tragically short in a Taliban suicide attack at a restaurant in Kabul. Del Singh, as he was better known, was one of two Britons killed along with 19 others, including senior UN officials, US workers, eight Afghan dignitaries and members of staff of the popular restaurant, La Taverna du Liban, in what was described as the "deadliest violence against foreign civilians" in Afghanistan since the start of the war nearly 13 years ago.

US drone strike kills 16 suspected militants in Pakistan

Unmanned US aircraft fired four missiles at a house in north-west Pakistan today, killing 16 suspected militants, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

Sergeant Danny Nightingale

Court martial told: former SAS sergeant Danny Nightingale is lying over illegal gun

Prosecutor says ex-sniper has changed story about how he came to be in possession of it and is now lying

The Prime Minister eating breakfast with troops

Taliban could soon be coming in from the cold

A lasting peace in Afghanistan could be secured if the former Islamic fundamentalist fighters were to have a role in the new national government and even in its army, say Western military officials

David Cameron to ask Pakistan's PM for help on Afghanistan

David Cameron will today ask Pakistan's re-elected leader to help shore up security in the region – and to stay out of Afghanistan as it takes it first faltering steps as an independent democracy. Mr Cameron will become the first major leader to meet Nawaz Sharif, as he starts an unprecedented third term as prime minister.

David Cameron flies into Afghanistan as army warns British troops will stay to support Afghan forces for up to five years

British troops will be stuck in Afghanistan for up to five years after Nato’s “final” withdrawal from the war-torn country by the end of 2014.

Taliban talks 'were needed a decade ago' says senior British commander

The West should have attempted talks with the Taliban a decade ago, a senior British commander in Afghanistan has said, after efforts to negotiate with the insurgents have faltered.

If it’s like father, like son, Qatar's Emir Tamim will certainly be no pushover

The nation he built is  a flea which happily bites any great power that gets in its way

A TV screen shows a news report about Edward Snowden in Hong Kong

Edward Snowden’s decision to run is a sound tactical choice

I wish the fugitive well. But we should focus on what he revealed, not who he is

TV review: Wild Shepherdess - Look out, chaps, there's a goat botherer about!

She makes yoghurt, she spins yarn, she looks nice in a fleece. But when will Kate Humble's gap year ever end?

Investment in Blood, By Frank Ledwidge

Was it worth it? This indictment of our Afghan venture gives a crushing negative

Taliban: Exchange of five Guantanamo captives for American prisoner of war must happen before peace talks

Senior spokesman for insurgent group says 'We want to build bridges of confidence'

The problem with the Taliban peace talks is not women, it’s their absence

Although women and girls are disproportionately affected by conflict, their experiences and instrumental contribution to peace are often overlooked

A Syrian boy refugee in the Bab al-Salam refugee camp in Azaz, near the Syrian-Turkish border in June 2013

'Truly alarming': Syria conflict boosts worldwide refugee numbers to highest number for almost two decades

UN reports that more than 7m fled homes in last year, many from Syria crisis

Taliban admits attack that kills four US troops in Afghanistan just hours after insurgent group announced it would hold peace talks

The Afghan Taliban have claimed responsibility for an attack that killed four US troops on the same day that peace talks between America and the group were announced.

A Jackal armoured vehicle, which cost £350,000 each

British military stock left over from Afghan war being moved out

The details of what has been happening to Britain’s military equipment in Afghanistan were given today as the government there assumed responsibility for security across the country and international forces embarked on the final part of their exit strategy from the war.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas