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While politicians agonise over the size of the Government’s debt, one of the most expensive publicly funded projects in recent years is quietly getting under way.

The Ministry of Defence wastes up to £94m a year training 16 and 17-year-old army recruits for roles which could be filled more cost-effectively by adults, according to analysis by campaign groups.

MoD 'wastes cash training under-18s'

The Ministry of Defence wastes up to £94m a year training 16 and 17-year-old army recruits for roles which could be filled more cost-effectively by adults, according to analysis by campaign groups.

Shaker-Aamer was sent to Guantánamo Bay in 2002, and cleared to leave in 2007.

Shaker Aamer: 'I may have to die. I hope not. I want to see my family again'

Shaker Aamer was sent to Guantánamo Bay in 2002, and cleared to leave in 2007. Now, weakened by hunger strike, he asks what his fate has to do with justice

Files are seen at the venue of the Al-Sweady Inquiry

Al-Swaiedi inquiry: Teenager was tortured and hanged, claims his uncle

A teenager who it is claimed was unlawfully killed by British troops in Iraq had been tortured and hanged, his uncle has claimed.

The coffin containing the body of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher arrives for the ceremonial funeral at St Paul's Cathedral

'Lying here, she is one of us': A selection of quotes as last respects paid to Margaret Thatcher

Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres: "After the storm of a life lived in the heat of political controversy, there is a great calm."

Lord Hanningfield at court facing charges of false accounting

Andy McSmith's Diary: Oh Lords! Disgraced peer trousers £5,500 in one month

It seems that nothing will ever shame the ermine troughers out of claiming from the public purse. Paul White, aka Lord Hanningfield, an ex-Tory peer, has not spoken in the House of Lords, nor tabled any written questions since he was sent to jail for fiddling his expenses, but figures reveal that in November he had his best month yet for pocketing the £300 daily allowance to which he is entitled just for turning up. He signed in on 17 separate days, which entitled him to £5,100. He also claimed £407 travel costs. That means that in the first eight months since his return after his prison spell, Lord Hanningfield trousered a total of £21,000 in daily attendance allowances, plus £1,736 costs.

An Afghan policeman attached with US soldiers holds his machine gun during a patrol along the outskirts of Kandahar City

MPs fear Afghanistan civil war after withdrawal

Afghanistan could descend into civil war and corruption and drugs trading could continue to cause problems once coalition forces withdraw from the country in less than two years' time, a report from the Defence Select Committee warned today.

Militants killed seven in Iraq on deadliest day for the US in eight months

Militants killed six Americans, including a young female diplomat, and an Afghan doctor in a pair of attacks in Afghanistan yesterday in the deadliest day for the US in the war in eight months.

North Korea moves missile 'with considerable range' to its east coast, as US troops in South are put on high alert amid rising tensions and threat of 'merciless' nuclear strike

Reports in the Japan suggested missile could be a KN-08, which is believed to be a long-range missile that if operational could hit the United States

Afghan recruits are leaving the national army at a rate of 5,000 every month

Nato alarm over Afghan army crisis: loss of recruits threatens security as handover looms

Thousands of recruits are quitting the newly formed Afghan police and armed forces every month, raising fears over their ability to protect the emerging democracy when coalition troops leave the country in less than two years' time. For every 10 new soldiers recruited to the Afghan National Army (ANA), at least three are lost because they have been sacked, captured or killed in action, new figures have revealed. British officials admit that current "attrition rates", with more than 5,000 soldiers quitting every month, threaten the force's long-term effectiveness.

Sea King rescue helicopter fleet will be nearly halved and replaced by American models

The number of search-and-rescue helicopters is expected to be cut from 40 to 22 after the service is  privatised, it emerged today.

A rebel fighter guards a prison cell in Bangui

South African counter-attack against Central African Republic rebels would be ‘complete madness’

Opposition is rising against South African intervention as more deaths are feared

Space for Barack, but not Barak: Embarrassment for Israel after former premier is excluded from Obama state dinner and events

Ehud Barak was not invited to any official functions, despite glittering military and political careers

Kim Jong-un talks with soldiers taking part in anti-landing drills on the country’s east coast

North Korean missiles 'on highest alert' to attack US bases on mainland America, Hawaii and Guam

Sabre-rattling continues as South Korea warns its neighbour to abandon  nuclear weapons

Poll: Is Greg Dyke the right man to lead the FA?

Greg Dyke, former Director-General of the BBC, has been appointed as Chairman of the FA.

Now trim an extra £2.5bn! Osborne spells out Budget cuts to pay for infrastructure projects

Whitehall departments are to face fresh spending cuts over the next two years, with the money saved spent on infrastructure projects, Chancellor George Osborne told a pre-Budget meeting of the Cabinet today.

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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?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable