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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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On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on Scotland's oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
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Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
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musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
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A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
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Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
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'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
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Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
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‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week