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Taliban militants - there was a risk the man could face persecution in Afghanistan for having rejected Islam

Afghan atheist to get asylum in Britain on religious grounds

A supervisor on the case, said: 'The decision represents an important recognition that a lack of religious belief is in itself a thoughtful and seriously-held philosophical position'

Sir Ian McKellen joined Nobel-winning chemist Sir Harry Kroto in formulating the demand

27 Nobel laureates join Sir Ian McKellen to protest over Russia's gay ‘propaganda’ ban

In an open letter to President Vladimir Putin and the Russian people given exclusively to The Independent, they speak out against homophobic legislation which activists say has led to violence and even suicides among gay people

Legal professionals hold placards during a protest against cuts to the legal aid budget on 6 January. The number of separating couples accessing publicly funded mediation or family lawyers have fallen dramatically due to the changes to legal aid

Courts becoming clogged as legal aid cuts affect separating couples seeking mediation

Separating couples are being cut adrift by changes to legal aid, experts say, as the numbers accessing publicly funded mediation or family lawyers have fallen dramatically.

A New Jersey home destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Governor Christie is facing an investigation into allegations of misspending of federal aid earmarked for victims of Super-Storm Sandy

Open season on Chris Christie: New Jersey governor facing investigation into possible misspending of federal aid earmarked for victims of 2012's Super-Storm Sandy

Claims his office accepted a $4.7 bid for TV ads declaring the Jersey Shore open for business that involved his participation rather than a $2.5 million alternative that would not have cast him

A veto over EU laws? This can only be a Mandelsonian plot

What the 95 Tory MPs propose is not just unrealistic, it is unrealism on stilts

Video: Cases against two student protesters dropped after footage shows 'shocking' inconsistencies in police officers' account of events

Two student protesters who faced career-damaging allegations from the Metropolitan Police have had the cases against them thrown out after YouTube footage showed “shocking” inconsistencies in the police officers’ account of events.

US and Russia say negotiations close to ceasefire and aid convoy access in Syria

John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov met for talks in Paris this week ahead of a peace conference in Geneva

Stephen McLaughlin has set up a website that allows users to vote for potential names for his unborn daughter

What happens when you let the internet choose your baby's name?

Father-to-be Stephen McLaughlin has set up a website to allow the internet to decide his unborn daughter's name

Three teams in training to take on the poachers

Every penny raised in the elephant appeal will be spent directly on wildlife conservation projects in Africa. Here's how.

Charities say drug users are switching to alternative drugs created in laboratories because they know they are not breaking the law if they are caught in possession

UK opts out of EU legal high plans

Proposals "fetter UK's discretion", insists crime minister Norman Baker MP

Simon Hughes says some view the criminal justice system as hostile

Simon Hughes: 'Legal profession must do more to reflect modern Britain'

Justice minister wants more female and ethnic minority barristers within 2 years

William Hague, left, with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, right, said there had been no ‘systematic’ torture by British troops

Pressure grows for inquiry into UK role in Iraq 'war crimes'

Senior UK military and political figures could end up in the dock as 400 victims denounce 'systemic' use of torture and cruelty

Taxi firm in Middlesbrough attacked for refusing to carry disabled passengers

Owner of largest firm in the North East of England concedes move is 'morally wrong' but he says had no choice but to act after local authority warns operators over charging disabled passengers extra

A small triumph for democracy

Defence procurement has been one of the biggest machines for wasting money

Ambushed: MPs have demanded Philip Hammond allow them to question the candidate for head of defence procurement

MPs move to vet candidates for top jobs

Select committees seek wider scrutiny of applicants for leading public-sector roles and less government influence

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Prices correct as of 26 September 2014
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
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Lords of the rings

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Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
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Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?