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

'Nun' sentenced over envelopes containing white powder that were sent to Nick Clegg

A pensioner claiming to be a Catholic nun who sent envelopes containing white powder to parliamentary figures including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was given a community order today.

Pakistan releases at least seven Taliban prisoners at the request of Afghan government

Pakistan has released at least seven Taliban prisoners at the request of the Afghan government in a move that observers believe will help push forward the stumbling peace process with the militant group.

Thierry Tilly was sentenced to eight years in prison by a French court for kidnapping, psychological subjection, fraud and abuse of the vulnerable

'Guru' who conned French aristocrats out of £3.6m jailed

Fraudster convinced victims he was a  Nato masterspy sent to protect them

Joaquin Phoenix plays a brittle anti-hero who falls in with a cult

The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson, 144 mins (15)

Anderson's latest film is a puzzling, slippery, and brilliantly acted portrait of post-war American damage and disintegration

Islamist suspects 'held inhumanely' in Nigeria claims human rights group

Nigeria is illegally holding hundreds of people suspected of taking part in violence orchestrated by a radical Islamist sect, a rights group warned today, adding that they were being kept in inhumane conditions and denied access to lawyers.

Pakistani boys attend a class at a school in the mountainous area of the Jhanda tribal district of Mohmand Hills

Continuous armed conflict makes education difficult in Pakistan

At Oxford Public Middle School, an enthusiastic group of students recite their lesson for the day: learning how to count. Only here there are no desks, no chairs and even the teacher's chair doesn't have a cushion.

Beware George Osborne, we ‘environmental Taliban’ are on the march

Make no mistake: the coalition in favour of sustainable energy is broadening all the time and the Chancellor looks increasingly alone

Troops in Afghanistan are searching for Mullah Fazlullah

Taliban leader suspected in Malala Yousafzai's shooting has history of conflict with military

The Taliban leader who apparently ordered the assassination of a Pakistani schoolgirl last week may not be well-known outside the remote, picturesque Swat Valley. But there he is infamous for his long campaign against female education.

The Sessions, BFI London Film Festival

Based on the true story of Mark O'Brien, a journalist from California bed-bound since childhood after a bout of polio, The Sessions is the improbably cheery, touching and surprisingly funny story of Mark's quest to lose his virginity. The Forty Year Old Virgin meets The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, if you will.

Police stop two 'visitors' for Malala

Two people were stopped by police at the hospital where shot Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai is being treated and claimed to be her relatives. One reportedly said she was the girl's mother, although Malala's family have not yet travelled to the UK.

Car bombing kills 17 in northwest Pakistan

A car bomb tore through a crowded bazaar outside an office for anti-Taliban tribal elders today in north-western Pakistan, killing at least 17 people, officials said.

Malala Yousafzai had to have a bullet removed from her head by surgeons after an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen

Pakistani police make arrests over Taliban shooting of Malala Yousufzai on school bus

Pakistani police say they have arrested a number of suspects in the case of a 14-year-old girl shot and wounded by the Taliban after promoting girls' education and speaking out about Taliban atrocities.

Malala Yousufzai, the Taliban's reign of terror, and the brutal cost of cowardice in today's Pakistan

A novelist laments the suffering of a young Pashtun activist

Pakistani doctors remove bullet from 14-year-old girl shot by Taliban

Schools in Pakistan's Swat Valley have closed in protest as anger erupted across the country over the Taliban's attack on a 14-year-old activist famed for promoting girls' education.

The Pakistani Taliban warned yesterday that it opposes a planned “peace march” into dangerous tribal areas led by Imran Khan

Pakistani Taliban warn Imran Khan over 'peace march' into Waziristan

The Pakistani Taliban warned yesterday that it will oppose a planned “peace march” led by Imran Khan, and accused the cricketer-turned-politician of being “a slave of the West” who is using the issue of US drone strike for his own political gain.

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas