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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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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen