News Afghan children play cricket on the outskirts of Jalalabad, Nangarhar province, near to Alinghar, Laghman where the cricket players were shot by a gunman.

Authorities say the gunman rode on a motorbike and shot the group of men

Alex Salmond tells SNP conference 'the nonsense ends in 2014'

Alex Salmond rallied the SNP at its annual conference in Perth today by telling activists that “in 2014 the nonsense ends”.

In exile: Maksim Bakiyev

Met arrests son of ousted Kyrgyz leader

Maksim Bakiyev faces extradition to the US, charged with conspiracy to defraud and perverting the course of justice

Editorial: Syria's war must not ignite the region

The events of recent days in and around the Turkish town of Akcakale, close to Syria's northern border, serve as a warning of the extreme dangers inherent in the present situation. The sequence of events is now pretty well established. Shells fired by the Syrian military landed there on Wednesday afternoon, destroying buildings and killing five people. Turkey responded by firing into Syria. These were the first recorded cross-border incidents of Syria's civil war. The risk is that they will not be the last.

Tribute paid to commando who died of natural causes

The wife of a Royal Marine commando who died in Afghanistan has paid tribute to the “loveliest” husband and father.

Seven US troops killed in Afghan helicopter crash

Eleven people were killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan, including seven US soldiers and three Afghan allies, the Nato-led force in the country said.

Nato worker on spy charge in Germany

A German civilian who worked at Nato's air command headquarters in Germany has been charged with stealing secret data, federal prosecutors said.

Nato says Afghan militant attacks are up 11%

Insurgent attacks in Afghanistan during the past three months were up 11 per cent, compared to the same period last year, according to the latest statistics on monthly violence released by the US-led coalition. 

Briton killed in Afghanistan shooting named as Dave Chamberlain

A British civilian contractor shot dead by someone wearing an Afghan national security force uniform was a father of two from Kent.

Three Nato service members killed in Afghanistan

Insurgent attacks have killed three Nato service members in eastern Afghanistan.

Nato service member among three killed in Afghanistan blasts

Two separate bombings in Afghanistan have killed a Nato service member as well as an official with the Afghan ministry of women's affairs and her husband.

US drone strike kills four militants in Pakistan

Pakistani intelligence officials say missiles fired by a U.S. drone have killed at least four suspected militants near the Afghan border.

Man in Afghan uniform shoots Nato troops

A man in an Afghan army uniform shot and wounded a number of coalition troops in eastern Afghanistan, the US-led Nato coalition said today.

Nato condemns Syria plane attack

Nato today condemned Syria's disregard of "peace, security and human life" in a statement expressing solidarity with Turkey over the shooting down of one of its reconnaissance planes.

Two Nato soldiers die in attacks in Afghanistan

Two Nato soldiers have been killed in separate attacks in Afghanistan, the alliance said today.

Navy destroys German mine off the coast of Sardinia

A Royal Navy warship has destroyed a Second World War mine discovered off the coast of Sardinia.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas