Arts and Entertainment Stephen Fry has been cast as the British Prime Minister in the second series of 24

The actor and comedian will star alongside Jack Bauer in the second series

Inside Romania's secret CIA prison

In northern Bucharest, in a busy residential neighbourhood minutes from the heart of the capital city, is a secret the Romanian government has long tried to protect.

DVD: X Men: First Class, For retail & rental (20th Century Fox)

One of the many Batman Begins-type prequels which go into unnecessary detail about their heroes' formative years, X-Men: First Class stands out from the crowd by being set it in the early 1960s, and by having so much fun with its period setting.

Clinton calls on Islamabad to eliminate safe havens Deny militants refuge, urges Clinton on rare visit

The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, yesterday pushed Pakistan to deny militants a safe haven on its soil and deliver them to the negotiating table.

Centuries of open justice threatened by secret courts

Government rewrites judicial principles after lobbying by CIA

Raid catches top al-Qa'ida member

Three al-Qa'ida members including a top operative believed to have been tasked by Osama bin Laden with targeting American economic interests around the world have been held in Pakistan.

9/11: Chronicle Of A Catastrophe Foretold

John Carlin writes the first of our series of features to commemorate the disaster and the events that have followed

Clair George: CIA officer who was convicted of lying to Congress over the Iran-Contra affair

In the mid-1980s, Clair George, who has died aged 81, was deputy director of operations for the Central Intelligence Agency, its third-highest position, in charge of covert espionage operations worldwide. George was in one sense an American George Smiley, a professional less concerned with his own advancement than with the success, and the reputation, of the agency he served. But Smiley never found himself brought before congressional committees to testify about his agency's involvement in, or knowledge of, illegal activities run out of the White House. To protect the CIA, George lied about the Iran-Contra operation, and was eventually convicted of two counts of perjury. Though a presidential pardon meant he avoided a jail sentence, by then he had been forced to resign from the agency he had tried to protect.

Al-Qa'ida book by ex-agent sets off war between FBI and CIA

Still simmering tensions between the FBI and the CIA over the September 2001 terrorist attacks and their aftermath have been reignited by a row over a forthcoming book by a former FBI agent that is strongly critical of the main US foreign intelligence agency.

CIA chief in Pakistan pulls out after clashes

The CIA station chief who oversaw the intelligence work before the raid that killed Osama bin Laden has been pulled out of Islamabad – the second time in seven months that the CIA's top spy in Pakistan has been replaced.

Petraeus hands over Afghanistan command

General David Petraeus handed over command of American and coalition forces in Afghanistan to General John Allen today, transferring responsibility for the nearly 10-year war as Kabul's international allies draw up exit plans from the conflict.

Bodyguard who killed Karzai's brother was trusted CIA contact

The bodyguard who assassinated President Hamid Karzai's brother had been working closely with US Special Forces and the CIA before he was recruited by the Taliban, raising fears over the Islamist movement's increasingly sophisticated intelligence apparatus which has managed to threaten the inner circles of power in Afghanistan.

CIA ran fake vaccination programme to capture Bin Laden family's DNA

The CIA set up a fake vaccination initiative in the months leading up to the killing of Osama bin Laden, in an attempt to obtain DNA samples from members of his family.

DVD: Fair Game (12)

Liman, director of the first Bourne, tries a real-life thriller: CIA spy Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts), is married to ex-diplomat Joe Wilson (Sean Penn) who's sent to Niger on a fact-finding mission.

Revealed: The CIA mastermind who cornered Bin Laden

He has never been photographed, and his surname is unknown. But 'John' led an extraordinary 10-year mission

Orlando Bosch: CIA-backed Cuban exile implicated in numerous anti-Castro terrorist operations

It is said that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom-fighter. If so, Orlando Bosch might be all things to all men. A dedicated anti-Castro Cuban, Bosch was implicated in dozens of terrorist acts, including the 1976 bombing of Cubana flight 455, which killed 73 people, and the assassination in Washington, DC the same year of the Chilean exile Orlando Letelier. Hailed as a hero by America's Cuban exile community, Bosch was a prime example of the double standards of the Bush administration's so-called Global War on Terror – especially considering the electoral importance of Florida's Cuban vote – having been personally championed by Jeb Bush and released from US custody by Jeb's father George HW.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick