News Afghan children play cricket on the outskirts of Jalalabad, Nangarhar province, near to Alinghar, Laghman where the cricket players were shot by a gunman.

Authorities say the gunman rode on a motorbike and shot the group of men

Russian soldier 'missing in action' for 30 years found in Afghanistan

A former Soviet soldier who went missing more than three decades ago during Moscow’s ill-fated invasion of Afghanistan has been found alive and well near the city of Herat.

Review: Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, By William Dalrymple

How we lost the war – all over again

British soldiers in direct combat roles will not be asked to serve an extra three months in Afghanistan

UK troops face final sacrifice as tours of duty in Afghanistan to be extended by half in the perilous run-up to withdrawal

British troops are likely to have the length of their tours in Afghanistan extended by half in the crucial period leading to the end of combat operations, The Independent has learnt. The tours of duty served by key units may rise from six to nine months, under the plans to ensure that Afghanistan’s army and police are in a position to take over security duties.

Newly trained Afghan police at their graduation ceremony in Helmand earlier this month

Afghan forces 'are just like criminals'

Murder, sexual abuse, drugs and extortion revealed in Panorama investigation

Walking Wounded: Return to the Frontline: photographer Giles Duley who lost both his legs and arm in Afghanistan returns 18 months later to complete his work

TV review: Walking Wounded: Return to the Frontline, Channel 4

Murder on the Victorian Railway, BBC2

Children found in refrigerated van by UK Border Force

Four children suffered hypothermia after being locked in a refrigerated lorry in a failed attempt to enter the country, the UK Border Force said.

Prime Minister to meet with Afghan and Pakistani leaders

David Cameron will meet the Afghan and Pakistani presidents tonight in the latest round of talks aimed at preventing a Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan when British troops leave next year.

Aslam: Despite the atrocities, his view of Islam is nuanced

The Blind Man's Garden, By Nadeem Aslam Faber and Faber £18.99

This poetic but devastating novel about Islamic extremism and the conflict in Afghanistan has the authenticity of lived experience

The Blind Man's Garden, By Nadeem Aslam

A monumental novel of love and conflict dramatises the war on terror

Prince Harry has used his time in Afghanistan to attempt to cultivate a different image

Harry's game: the prince and the PR mission

Forget Las Vegas: The third in line to the throne used his Afghan tour to cultivate a very different image. Emily Dugan reports on a royal rebrand

Prince Harry relaxes after scoring a goal during a computer football game with his fellow Apache Helicopter Pilot Capt Simon Beattie (left), during their 12 hour VHR (very high readiness) shift

Harry finally opens fire ... on the press

The media blackout on the prince’s deployment in Afghanistan came to an end last night – with a bang. Cahal Milmo and Ian Burrell report

One policeman killed after Taliban militant attack on Kabul police headquarters

At least one policeman was killed today when Taliban militants detonated a car bomb at the gates of the Kabul traffic police headquarters and then stormed the compound, setting off a six-hour gun battle with security forces, authorities said.

Iphigenia in Forest Hills, By Janet Malcolm

Skewed justice of the trigger happy judge and his prejudice

Royal Marine Sergeant Steve Lord tests a Glock 17 9mm pistol, on an indoor shooting range at Woolwich Barracks, south-east London, as personnel from all three services are to start using the new Glock pistols after a contract was awarded to replace the currently used Browning model

Insider attacks lead to new sidearms for British troops

British forces are to be armed with a new combat sidearm for the first time in more than half a century to protect themselves against new types of threats. The Browning Hi-Power pistol, which first came into service in 1954, will be replaced by the Glock 17, which has been chosen after intensive trials.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
News
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
i100
Life and Style
fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
Extras
indybest
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention