News

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
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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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