Voices Troop talk: Tony Blair in Iraq in May 2003

The anti-war movement has an important case to make. But they know that this money-reward mechanism is surely not strengthening their argument

Ad and Wal by Peter Hain, book review

What makes some apparently ordinary people defy tyranny, when outwardly there is nothing to distinguish them from the majority who opt to keep quiet and get along?

Fortune was at his best in the Long Johns' sketches that poked fun at authority

John Fortune: Comedian and author best known for collaborations and sketches that poked fun at the powerful and self-important

John Fortune was the comedian and satirist best known for his work on the long-running television comedy series Bremner, Bird and Fortune, together with fellow comics Rory Bremner and John Bird, that ran for 16 series from 1999 to 2010.

Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, former head of British domestic intelligence agency MI5, said she did not support publication of the US National Security Agency

US will make deal with Edward Snowden, claims former MI5 head Dame Eliza Manningham Buller

Dame Eliza Manningham Buller believes the leaks have caused damage

Wait for it...Obama is to make a statement on the NSA after his holiday

Barack Obama puts his 'annus horribilis' on hold

Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA have wounded the President almost as much as the disastrous roll-out of his healthcare reform

Anjem Choudary refused to condemn Lee Rigby's murder

Radical preacher Anjem Choudary ‘not deserving of BBC time’

Broadcaster criticised for prime slot in which he refused to condemn murder Lee Rigby

Iraqi detainees at Camp Bucca, run by US and British forces; a Red Cross report details abuse of prisoners there

Britain in dock over violent death of Iraqi

European court to decide if detention during search for Saddam supporters was unlawful

Andy McSmith's Diary: Bad news - Capita’s visa task bombs. Good news - they’re paid by results

More than a year has passed since the UK Border Agency awarded a four-year, £30m contract to a private firm, Capita, to track down immigrants who have overstayed their visas in the UK. Hiring a private firm for a task that is normally the responsibility of the state did not escape criticism. “We are appalled the Government has offered a contract of this size to a private company,” Ruth Grove-White, policy director at the Migrants Rights Network, told The Independent.

Jude Law as Henry V weaves charisma and unease in the swansong of Michael Grandage’s West End season

Henry V: Theatre review - 'Jude Law's canny Harry crowns an enlightened season of plays'

First night: Noël Coward Theatre, London

JB Shorts 10, Joshua Brooks, Manchester: Theatre review

This twice-yearly festival of short plays for the theatre – by writers who make their living from television soaps and dramas – is now in its tenth incarnation and gets better and better. JB Shorts is named after the Joshua Brooks pub across the road from the old BBC headquarters in Manchester which produced much of seminal radio drama of the last century. There must be something in the air there.

George Bush painted this portrait of Jay Leno, which he presented to the Tonight Show host on Tuesday

George W Bush presents TV host Jay Leno with a portrait - and it ain't half bad

The former president's hobby really gathered steam when he hired an art teacher to give him pointers

Tony Blair and George W. Bush at the former President's ranch in Crawford, Texas, in 2002

Chilcot Inquiry: Why should the conversations of Blair and Bush be made public?

No freedom of information law includes private communications between leaders

British Army soldiers in Basra, southern Iraq, 2004

Transatlantic exchanges that helped take the West to war

In Sir John Chilcot’s diplomatic shorthand, they are the “difficult documents”. For the rest of us – those looking to brand Tony Blair and George Bush as war criminals, or those who believe the pair saved Iraq from the excesses of Saddam and the world from a potential WMD catastrophe – they are the communications that will reveal how close Washington and Whitehall were in the run-up to the 2003 war.

Tony Blair, right, with former Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, left, and former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, in 2003

Tony Blair kept Cabinet in the dark over Iraq 'deliberately' as ministers evaluated case for war in 2003

Lord Butler suggests former Prime Minister excluded members of the Government from the decision-making process

Once a firebrand, Diane Abbott has now paid the price for going off message

The Hackney MP criticised Ed Miliband for lacking courage

The Carrie conundrum: How to save Homeland from itself

The thriller’s second series was a mess. Now, as it returns, Hugh Montgomery suggests a rescue plan

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Barn owls are among species that could be affected
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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
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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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