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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Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
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Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

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The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
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Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

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Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

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