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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

Taliban claims responsibility for Afghan jail blast

A blast with smuggled-in explosives at a prison in western Afghanistan killed a guard and allowed 11 inmates to escape early today, officials said. One prisoner was shot and killed while fleeing.

Kim Sengupta: Tensions between UK and Afghan troops on patrol in Helmand

'You wonder how many nutters are out there, but I can't be looking over my shoulder every day'

Patrick Cockburn: Petraeus cannot win if he sticks with current tactics

A political and military dead end faces US and British forces

'Partial victory' on Taliban prisoners challenge

An anti-war activist today won "a partial victory" in her High Court challenge over Britain's policy of transferring captured Taliban suspects to the Afghan authorities.

Afghan leaders back under-fire general

Firing General Stanley McChrystal would disrupt progress in the Afghan war and could jeopardise a pivotal security operation under way in Taliban strongholds, leaders in the country said today.

Four troops die in Afghan copter crash

Three Australian soldiers and one American service member were killed today in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan, officials said.

Taliban blamed for attack on wedding party that killed 40

A Taliban suicide bomber was last night blamed for an attack in the middle of a crowded wedding party that killed 40 as revenge against villagers who were working with the Kabul government.

Suicide attack kills 40 at Afghan wedding party

A suicide bomb ripped through a wedding party in full swing in the Taliban's heartland in southern Afghanistan, killing at least 40 people and wounding dozens more, officials said today.

Cameron is confronted by the reality of his Afghan problem

On his first day in Downing Street, David Cameron called a meeting of his new National Security Council to assess the situation in Afghanistan, in what was a very public declaration of how seriously he takes the war. The Prime Minister will soon see the reality on the ground when he visits Helmand.

British troops 'unlikely' to move to Kandahar, says Fox

Britain will almost certainly turn down proposals to move troops in Afghanistan from their centre of operation in Helmand to the Taliban heartland of Kandahar and neighbouring Uruzgan.

Soldiers' deaths take UK toll to 292

The deaths of two British soldiers shot in a battle with the Taliban in Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand, on Friday have brought the total of British dead to 292. The men, who are expected to be named today, were from 1st Battalion, the Mercian Regiment. So far this year, 47 British soldiers have been killed and 137 seriously wounded, with hundreds more hospitalised.

Insurgents in Kandahar's undergrowth drag Nato forces into 'green hell'

Spring brings renewed risk from IEDs, and political solutions seem a long way off. Julius Cavendish reports from Pashmul

Robert Fisk: Power to change

If America can't broker peace in the Middle East, is it time for the Russians to step in? They have a long history with the region – and aren't hobbled by an Israeli lobby

Taliban admit Kandahar attack

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for an assault with rockets, mortars and automatic weapons on Kandahar airport, Nato's biggest base in southern Afghanistan, in the third major attack on the military in six days. Several coalition troops and civilian employees were wounded.

Broke Britain 'can no longer afford role in Afghanistan'

Cash, not casualties, could be the factor that finally forces a scaling down of military commitment
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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?