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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
Sport
Andy Murray reaches the final of the Australian Open after beating Tomas Berdych in another impressive display, but the match was marred by ill feeling
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Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
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Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
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Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
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Comedian Ted Robbins collapsed on stage during a performance of Phoenix Nights Live at Manchester Arena (Rex)
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The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
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newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
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Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links