News The NSA in Fort Meade, Maryland. The Office of Tailored Operations, whose existence is rarely acknowledged by the NSA, hacks computers around the world – harvesting data, monitoring communications and even mounting its own cyber-attacks

TAO was established in 1997 to hack into global communications systems at a time when fewer than 2 per cent of the world’s population had access to the internet

Inside Romania's secret CIA prison

In northern Bucharest, in a busy residential neighbourhood minutes from the heart of the capital city, is a secret the Romanian government has long tried to protect.

Heart problems put president in hospital

Pakistan's president Asif Ali Zardari has suffered a “cardiovascular episode” and has been hospitalised in Dubai, politicians and aides close to him said.

Joe Biden urges Turkey to impose new sanctions on Iran

US Vice President Joe Biden has called on Turkey to impose new sanctions against Iran, while praising Ankara for its role in pressuring Syria to stop its bloody crackdown on protesters.

Raid catches top al-Qa'ida member

Three al-Qa'ida members including a top operative believed to have been tasked by Osama bin Laden with targeting American economic interests around the world have been held in Pakistan.

Howard Jacobson: In my opinion

Howard Jacobson tackles life's little – and not so little – diversions in his weekly Independent column. These three extracts from a new collection reveal a brilliant mind at work

US believes al-Qa'ida is on the verge of defeat after deputy leader's death

American and Pakistani officials said al-Qa'ida's second-in-command, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, has been killed in Pakistan, delivering another blow to a terrorist group that the US believes to be on the verge of defeat.

Al-Qa'ida's second in command 'is killed in Pakistan'

A former chief lieutenant of Osama bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan in a blow to al-Qa'ida that the United States claims will severely weaken the terrorist network's leadership and future operations.

Glenn Wool: No Lands Man, Assembly George Square

Returning to the Fringe after furthering his career in the US, Glenn Wool presents a triptych show built around Americans, with a routine on their customs officers, a story about missing an Iron Maiden gig in Belgium and musings on life as a beaver.

Jeffrey Archer: An unlikely cartoon hero

Jeffrey Archer, who has been the subject of plenty of political send-ups himself, tells Charlotte Cripps why he wants to give his collection to the nation

Paul Vallely: Vengeance is not the answer

Court sentences and communities seek revenge, but that merely perpetuates a damaging cycle

'Killing Bin Laden' film sparks 2012 election row

The White House has vigorously denied granting special favours to its friends in Hollywood after it emerged that officials are helping Kathryn Bigelow to research a movie about the supposedly top-secret assassination of Osama bin Laden.

Bali bombing suspect extradited for trial

A key suspect in the 2002 Bali bombings in which 202 people died was escorted home to Indonesia under tight security to stand trial yesterday, six months after he was captured in the same north-western Pakistani town where Osama bin Laden was killed.

White House denies divulging Bin Laden information to film makers

Moviemakers producing a film about the US special forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden are getting help from the Pentagon, but the Obama administration dismissed concerns on Wednesday that classified information has been divulged.

Nato Chinook in crash-landing

A Nato helicopter crash-landed today in eastern Afghanistan, just days after the downing of a Chinook dispatched to bring in reinforcements for elite troops under attack.

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The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence