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Previously secret documents indicate Margaret Thatcher knew about possible SAS involvement in 1984 Indian army raid

26 members of the so-called 'Arctic 30' pictured at the beginning of December

Russia formally drops criminal charges against Arctic 30 Greenpeace activists

The protesters and two freelance journalists, including six Britons - were arrested after Russian authorities boarded their ship, the Arctic Sunrise, during an anti-drilling demonstration in September

The Fashion Audit: Skin tight, Commando Red Carpet and Swinging Santa

What we love, we're not sure about, we're buying and can't wait for...

John Kerry issues warning to terrorists after US raids in Libya and Somalia

Special forces seize al-Qa’ida suspect in Libya but mission in Somalia ends in failure

Book review: Solo, By William Boyd

For the spy's latest revival, James Bond's new controller blends his African expertise into the classic mix

No refuge: The ancient town of Maloula, attacked last week by rebel fighters

War comes to Syria's quiet Christian hinterland

World View: A rebel attack on Maloula is a warning for a minority accused of supporting government

Simon Price on Iron Maiden: War, gore, and the rock roar that never falters

It may not be alternative. It may not be cool. But what Iron Maiden offer is heavy metal to the max

Ryan Mania after his victory in the Grand National

Grand National winner Auroras Encore to be reunited with Ryan Mania at Ayr

The Grand National heroes Auroras Encore and Ryan Mania will be re-united at Ayr on Saturday in the Scottish version of the marathon chase. The horse, who came out of Aintree unscathed and has been in good form since, was given the go-ahead yesterday by his trainer, Sue Smith, and the rider, who injured his neck in a fall the day after his headline triumph, by the sport’s chief medical adviser, Michael Turner.

Pervez Musharraf: Is this dictator's vanity worth the risk of yet another assassination?

The Pakistan which Musharraf ruled  isn’t particularly memorable for the people he left behind

US troops forced out of Afghan province by abuse claims

US special operations forces and their Afghan counterparts will withdraw from a strategic eastern province after complaints that they were involved in human rights abuses.

Somali Islamists deny death of French spy hostage as commando is killed in botched raid

A French commando raid in Somalia to free a captive intelligence agent ended in the deaths of 17 Islamists and a French soldier. France said the hostage also died in the failed rescue, but the man's captors denied he had been killed and claimed today to have seized a second soldier.

Lipkin-Shahak: he headed Israeli military intelligence before becoming deputy Chief of Staff

Lt General Amnon Lipkin-Shahak: Decorated Israeli soldier who became an advocate of peace

Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, a former Israeli army chief of staff, twice won Israel's Medal of Valour in battle but the last years of his life were spent advocating peace. In 1973, he led one of the commando teams that landed at night on Beirut's shore a year after the murder of 11 Israel athletes at the Munich Olympics. The raid would be best remembered for the female disguise adopted by several of the men in another team – including the future prime minister Ehud Barak, who wore a wig and high heels. Lt Col Lipkin-Shahak's team was in civilian dress, but not in drag.

Birger Stromsheim: One of the ‘Heroes of Telemark’

Birger Stromsheim was one of the Norwegian team that helped to thwart Nazi attempts to construct an atomic bomb. With five of his countrymen, Stromsheim was parachuted in February 1943 into the Telemark region of southern Norway.

Ex-soldiers to visit schools and pass on military ethos

The Education Secretary Michael Gove today announced plans to send former soldiers into classrooms to pass on the “military ethos” to troubled children.

Israel finally admits killing Arafat's deputy in 1988 raid

Lifting a nearly 25-year veil of secrecy, Israel acknowledged yesterday that it killed the deputy of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in a 1988 seaborne raid on Tunisia.

Israel finally admits killing Arafat’s deputy in 1988 raid

Lifting a nearly 25-year veil of secrecy, Israel acknowledged today that it killed the deputy of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in a 1988 seaborne raid on Tunisia.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?