News Afghan children play cricket on the outskirts of Jalalabad, Nangarhar province, near to Alinghar, Laghman where the cricket players were shot by a gunman.

Authorities say the gunman rode on a motorbike and shot the group of men

Kim Sengupta: A diplomat without diplomacy - but he made up for it in cunning

A senior Serbian official was left spluttering by what he considered Mr Holbrooke's high-handed behaviour

Cameron and Karzai shrug off talk of rift

David Cameron and Afghan president Hamid Karzai were quick to play down criticism of Britain's military performance, published by WikiLeaks, as the Prime Minister made an announced visit to Kabul.

Clinton apologises for embarrassment to UK

Hillary Clinton apologised yesterday for the derogatory comments made by American diplomats about British political leaders and military forces in the leaked cables published by the WikiLeaks website.

Key ally in Helmand privately criticised British policies

The Governor of Helmand, regularly put forward by London to publicly promote the UK's achievements in Afghanistan, privately complained to the Americans about shortcomings of British policy and the supposed failure to win over local people in a key battleground against the Taliban.

Patrick Cockburn: What Afghans will do to get friends out of jail

The main prison is Kabul is Pol-i-Charkhi, a forbidding-looking place off the Jalalabad road in the east of the capital, which was shrouded in smog yesterday. It has a grim reputation, built in the 1970s and used by the communist government as a place of torture and execution.

Christina Patterson: I always thought football was boring. Now I know it's rotten

Football, it turns out, is run by a group of ugly old men who look very like the villains in James Bond. They sit and think of ways to make world leaders look silly

Afghanistan's ancient jewels to sparkle in London

The shimmering brightness of a collection of priceless artifacts from Afghanistan contrasts with the darkness in which they languished for most of their existence.

John Kampfner: Wikileaks shows up our media for their docility at the feet of authority

Mr Assange is an unconventional figure, a man who lives in the shadows and enjoys doing so

Patrick Cockburn: He may be weak, but President Karzai knows the US has no alternative

The main American complaint against President Hamid Karzai over the past year has been that he and his government are so weak that the US has no effective local partner in Afghanistan.

Afghan diplomat released after two years

afghanistan's former ambassador-designate to Pakistan, seized by gunmen two years ago in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, has been released and is safely back home, President Hamid Karzai's office said yesterday.

Karzai hits out at Russians over drugs bust

Afghan president Hamid Karzai has lashed out at Russia's growing influence in his country, deriding a multi-million dollar drugs bust that involved four Russian agents as a "violation of Afghan sovereignty as well as international law". About 70 Afghan, Russian and Nato personnel, backed up by attack helicopters, seized drugs with a street value of $250m (£157m) in eastern Afghanistan over the weekend.

Katy Guest: Rant & Rave (31/10/10)

Rant

Hamid Karzai confirms talks with Taliban

President Hamid Karzai confirmed today that his government has been in informal talks with the Taliban on securing peace in Afghanistan "for quite some time" - the latest in a series of high-level acknowledgements of contacts with the insurgent group.

Kabul closes private security firms

The Afghan government said yesterday it has started dissolving private security firms in the country, taking steps to end the operations of eight companies, including the US firm formerly known as Blackwater and three other international contractors.

Patrick Cockburn: Pakistan won't act against the Taliban

Most Pakistani soldiers see the Afghan Taliban as Pashtun freedom fighters combating a foreign occupation
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Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London