News A policeman and relatives gather around the flag-draped casket of a policeman, who was killed in a bomb attack in Charsadda, on the outskirts of Peshawar

The policemen were guarding polio vaccination workers

Security officials cordon off the site of a suicide blast in Rawalpini where 13 people died. The Pakistani military launched air strikes against suspected Taliban hideouts on the Afghan border, on the night of the 21 January.

Pakistani fighter jets bomb Taliban hideouts and kill 25, after string of attacks

Residents claim that civillians were among those who died

Yeezianity: The church of Kanye West

The new 'religion', based on the rapper, aims to bring about the 'Creative Age'

Spozhmai, 10, who was about to be used by the Taliban as a suicide bomber, talks as she sits at a police office in Helmand province on 6 January 2014

Afghan suicide vest girl ‘treated like a slave’ by family who tried to make her blow up police checkpoint

The girl, believed to be around 10 years old, said she would rather kill herself than be sent back home

Secret networks of Freemasons have been used by organised crime gangs to corrupt the criminal justice system, according to a bombshell Metropolitan Police report leaked to The Independent

Revealed: How gangs used the Freemasons to corrupt police

Gangsters able to recruit police officers through secret society, says investigation for Scotland Yard

Top Pakistan police chief Chaudhry Aslam Khan killed in Karachi Taliban attack

Enemies of country's toughest policeman finally catch up with him

The Taliban deny using Spozhmai, aged 10, as a would-be suicide bomber

Taliban denies ordering 10-year-old girl to carry out suicide bombing on Helmand checkpoint

The group called the girl's story 'government propaganda'

Sun salutation: yoga at the Anantara Layan Resort

5 ways to... take a spa break

From the great outdoors to Alpine resorts and Himalayan healing

Sphozmay, 10, who was about to be used by the Taliban as a suicide bomber, sits next to a police officer at a police office in Helmand province

Afghanistan: Ten-year-old girl 'forced to wear suicide vest'

A provincial official in Afghanistan say a suicide car bomber has attacked a security checkpoint in the country's east, killing three police officers.

The United Nations building in New York

Christianity dominates United Nations, concludes study

More than 70% religious non-government organisations (NGOs) at the UN are Christian

David Coleman's highlights programmes stood out in an era of limited choice

Kevin Garside: When I was a boy, ‘Sportsnight with Coleman’ was my window on another world of sporting exotica, kindling a love of the real thing

Instead of some kitchen-sink drama, I was immersed in a world of winners and losers

A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas

Ian Watkins verdict: How did he coerce Woman A and Woman B?

Enigmas of this nature are more common than one might expect

One insurgent group linked to al-Qa’ida hopes to gain support in Syrian communities torn apart by two years of civil war by distributing aid and setting up its own schools and courts

Syria’s moderate rebel groups launch ‘soft power’ plan to beat Islamists

They hope a ‘hearts and minds’ campaign – promising extra aid and public services  in opposition-held areas – will help counter similar efforts by more radical Muslim groups

The raids were carried out at three travellers’ sites near Bristol, including Tall Trees in Almondsbury

Police rescue three male ‘slaves’ from traveller sites

Three men have been rescued after apparently being forced to live in squalid conditions and work for little or no pay in a new case of alleged slavery on travellers’ sites.

Why Can The Dead Do Such Great Things? By Robert Bartlett: Book review

The jury is out on the cult of saints and martyrs in this magisterial work

Sgt Alexander Blackman was named today as the Royal Marine convicted of murdering an Afghan insurgent

Guilty of murdering Afghan insurgent, awaiting sentence and now named: Sgt Alexander Blackman, the Royal Marine murderer

The once anonymous soldier faces life behind bars, but some are arguing for leniency

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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
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month