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

Breaking: Ten children, two soldiers and a policeman killed in Afghanistan suicide blast

20 other students were wounded in explosion near a marketplace

The news is a blow to the incoming government of Nawaz Sharif

Pakistan Taliban withdraw peace offer after death of deputy leader in drone strike as Khan Said is appointed the new No 2

A spokesman for the Pakistan Taliban said the group was withdrawing its offer of peace talks following the drone strike that killed the group's deputy leader.

Deputy Pakistani Taliban leader Wali-ur-Rehman, left, is reported to be among the dead

Pakistan Taliban No 2 Waliur Rehman is buried after being killed in drone strike, claim intelligence officials

The Pakistani Taliban's deputy leader was buried hours after he was killed in a US drone strike, Pakistani intelligence officials and militants said on Thursday.

EDL Leader Tommy Robinson speaks to supporters during a demonstration near Downing Street on Monday

Woolwich attack: Personal details including mobile phone numbers of 'EDL members' leaked online by hacking group Anonymous

Personal details including mobile phone numbers purporting to belong to members of the English Defence League have been leaked online by individuals claiming to be part of the international hacking group Anonymous.

Nawaz Sharif hopes the 'Godfather of the Taliban' Sami ul Haq, pictured, can help in negotiations with Islamists

Pakistan's incoming prime minister Nawaz Sharif reaches out to 'Godfather of the Taliban' Sami ul Haq for help in negotiations with Islamists

During the election campaign, Mr Sharif said he would 'withdraw' the country from America’s war on terror

Dan Brown attends his An Evening With Dan Brown event, to promote his new novel Inferno, at the Freemason's Hall, London.

The Freemasons' Code: Dan Brown reveals the message that told him the door to the lodge is open

His best-selling novels illuminate the shadowy organisations that supposedly run the world. But Dan Brown was “honoured” to receive an invitation to join the Freemasons, the arcane fraternity whose tentacles are said to extend into the highest echelons of power.

Ali Haider Gilani: The kidnapped politician is running for parliament

Son of former Pakistan prime minister kidnapped at election rally

Yousaf Raza Gilani's son, Ali Haider, who is running for parliament, was at a small gathering of supporters when gunmen struck

14 killed in Pakistan bomb blast

A bomb blast has killed at least 14 people at an election campaign rally held by a pro-Taliban party in north-west Pakistan.

One Fluminense fan showing his warrior spirit

Brazilian football champions Fluminense call for an end to fans' 'Taliban' web campaign

Club says Islamic militants are 'not healthy warriors'

Hundreds flee Syrian town after overnight massacre

Hundreds of Sunni Muslims fled Syria's coastal town of Banias yesterday, after reports circulated that fighters loyal to President Bashar al-Assad killed dozens of people overnight. Activists claimed the killings took place two days after state forces and pro-Assad militias killed at least 50 Sunnis in the nearby village of Baida. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition monitoring group, posted online a video showing the bodies of 10 people – half of them children. One toddler was covered in burns. Reports and videos of the killings could not be independently verified as the Syrian government restricts access for independent media.

A roadside bomb has killed five American soldiers in southern Afghanistan

Five American soldiers killed by roadside bomb in Afghanistan

Latest deadly attack since insurgents launched spring offensive

Assad regime accused of massacre of 50 Sunni villagers

Syria’s main opposition group has accused President Bashar al-Assad’s regime of committing a “large-scale massacre” in a Sunni village near the Mediterranean coast. Activists claim at least 50 people were killed with guns, knives and blunt objects.

People escort a shocked Pakistani politician, Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, center, who survived a suicide attack, at a hospital in Peshawar

As Pakistan prepares for crucial election, the Taliban turn to force to squeeze liberals out of power

Campaigns by  secular parties have been crippled by wave of attacks

Firefighter conduct search and rescue of an apartment destroyed by the explosion

Texas explosion: Biblical scene of destruction on Waco’s doorstep

Another tragedy strikes Texas town as explosion at fertiliser plant kills up to 15 and flattens landscape

The Branch Davidian compound in flames in 1993 after a shootout following a 51-day siege: 76 sect members died inside

Texas explosion: Apocalypse returns 20 years later to site of deadly raid on messianic sect holed up in Waco

Coincidences, coincidences. First, letters containing deadly poisons mailed to the mighty in Washington, days after a deadly terrorist attack. In 2001, it was 9/11 and the anthrax scare; this week the Boston Marathon, followed by the ricin letters to President Obama and a Mississippi senator. And now a place called Waco.

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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