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As a photojournalist, Kate Brooks was used to documenting war zones. Then she discovered a new kind of genocide – the killing of Africa’s elephants

New York Times photographer injured in Afghanistan

A photographer for The New York Times was seriously injured by a mine today in southern Afghanistan where international forces are pushing into Taliban strongholds to try to turn the tide of the war.

Nato surge on Taliban stronghold drives civilians into the line of fire

As troops step up their attack on the militants' Kandahar heartland, Julius Cavendish meets the ordinary people caught on the frontline

Nato launches major offensive to clear Taliban heartland

The final and critical phase of the offensive to clear Kandahar, the spiritual home of the Taliban, began yesterday with hundreds of troops carrying out an air assault on the main insurgent base in the region.

US soldier 'refused to leave wounded comrade' at Fort Hood shootings

A wounded soldier with a clear path to the exit refused to leave his fallen comrade behind even as a gunman fired off shots near them during last year's deadly rampage at the Fort Hood Army base, a military court heard yesterday.

Ahmed Wali Karzai: 'The stories are very hurtful. The only thing I haven't been accused of is prostitution'

If you believe his critics, Ahmed Wali Karzai is a corrupt gangster who has allowed the Taliban to flourish but remains untouchable because he is the President's brother. But, in a rare interview, he tells Kim Sengupta that his hands are clean

Deadly traps lie in wait as Nato surge begins to drive Taliban out of Kandahar

Sophisticated roadside bombs greet troops on first day of fight for control of insurgents' birthplace, writes Kim Sengupta in Malajat

Dispensable? RAF's contribution has never been more vital

In Afghanistan, the need for the RAF is plain, says the man who runs Kandahar airfield

Suicide bomber kills five Afghan police and one civilian

A suicide bomber perched on the back of a motorcycle killed five Afghan policemen and one civilian in the increasingly violent northern province of Kunduz today.

Two die in Islamic pilgrimages office bombing

The director of an office for facilitating pilgrimages to Islamic holy sites was killed in a bomb attack in the volatile southern city of Kandahar today, Afghan police said.

Seven American soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Seven American soldiers were killed in Afghanistan in separate incidents yesterday, the US military has confirmed. Five were killed by one improvised explosive device and the other two soldiers were killed by a second IED.

'We want to talk to the Taliban. But they would rather kill themselves'

Control of Kandahar is key to withdrawal from Afghanistan. But the coming US offensive there will be a bloody one, writes Kim Sengupta

Afghan, NATO troops pursue Haqqani fighters

More than 20 insurgents including Arab, Chechen and Pakistani fighters have been killed by NATO and Afghan forces who are ramping up operations in the east against a Taliban faction linked to al-Qaida, the international coalition said today.

Insurgents attack Afghan Nato base

Insurgents launched a ground attack on Nato's largest base in southern Afghanistan today, but did not breach its defences, officials said.

Twenty six killed in Afghan bus crash

Police say 26 people were killed when a speeding bus crashed in southern Afghanistan.

Taliban take two US soldiers hostage in Afghanistan

Five Americans are killed in separate bombings
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Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

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Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

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JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
booksChristmas comes early for wizard fans
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Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
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Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
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Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?

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On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
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Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

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filmsOculus Rift offers breathtakingly realistic simulation of zero gravity
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peopleCampaign 'to help protect young people across the world'
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker