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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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before