News British Army soldiers in Basra, southern Iraq, 2004

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.

Blairites fight back with release of Damian McBride aides' emails

Hundreds of emails sent between Tony Blair’s closest allies as he fought with Gordon Brown for the leadership of the Labour Party were released tonight in an apparent attempt to pre-empt the serialisation of Damian McBride’s book.

Sir Bob Kerslake will be replaced as Head of the Civil Service – but not yet

Death rattle of the mandarins?

Reform is coming to the Civil Service, but some worry it will harm more than help

Sunbathing by the Thames as the heatwave continues in London and across much of the UK

Heatwave Britain - are we putting our heads in the sand about the weather?

Extreme summers are growing more common, says a top public health body, and it’s time to pay more attention to their hazards

Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair's former chief of staff

Tony Blair's former chief of staff Jonathan Powell compares civil service culture with 'monastic order'

Powell says officials 'lacks the skills for coping with a modern society'

Tony Blair is thought to have long coveted a senior role in European politics and failed to secure the EU presidency in 2009

Tony Blair urges EU to elect a president (so who could be in contention?)

Former PM puts case for job he is said to have wanted in the past

Entwistle: "I'm convinced I've done all the right things"

The BBC Director-General maintained that he has acted entirely properly over the Jimmy Savile affair despite acknowledging that he was aware that Newsnight had been planning an investigation into the entertainer before it was dropped.

Delegates and officials from over 60 countries take part in the Friends of Syria conference in Tunis

Syrian regime must agree to ceasefire, says Hillary Clinton

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the Syrian regime will have “more blood on its hands” if it doesn't immediately comply with cease-fire demands being issued by a group of 70 Western and Arab nations.

Diplomacy: Assad is not firing artillery at civilians, claims Russia

There is no proof that Bashar al-Assad's regime is using its heavy weapons to bombard Homs, the Russian Foreign Minister is said to have declared yesterday. Sergei Lavrov's comments on the besieged city came during a telephone conversation with the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, as the Syrian opposition reported dozens more dead and injured.

Lord Corbett: What the ambassador forgot

The US is all over the place in its country-by-country response to the Arab Spring. Here support for military action, there a slap access the wrists – and in some cases simply silence.

Kathy Griffin, Palace Theatre, London

The boxes of the Palace Theatre are decorated with cherubs but on its stage the American comedian and reality-show star Kathy Griffin is busy stressing that her line

The Sonnets: 45

By William Shakespeare

Hoon took ultimate decision on naming

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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project