News

PM will be questioned by MPs and peers over UK relationship with US following the intelligence revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden

Forces left unable to launch ‘major’ missions overseas

Cameron axes 42,000 defence jobs including 25,000 at MoD as only 30,000 troops can be deployed in foreign operations. Savings total £3bn, but £3.6bn is written off by scrapping Nimrods

Clinton warns UK defence cuts may undermine Nato

US warns 'alliance must be maintained' as Government plan to hit RAF hardest

Obama loses the man McChrystal called a clown

President Barack Obama performed one more awkward hello-goodbye ritual at the White House last night when he confirmed that General James Jones, who had been his National Security Advisor since the start of his tenure, was clearing his desk.

Rahm Emanuel leading exodus of Obama aides from White House

The likely departure of the White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, to run for Mayor of Chicago is part of a half-term reshuffle of top aides that will signal a new chapter in the history of Barack Obama's increasingly embattled presidency.

Karzai was 'diagnosed with manic depression', new book on war claims

President Obama's distrust for Afghan President and his agonising search for a way out are revealed by Bob Woodward

Republicans block repeal of 'Don't ask, Don't tell' policy

With the usual procedural stymieing and partisan politicking, the US Congress showed off its talent for inaction last night by failing to pass legislation to repeal the law that bars gays from serving openly in the military even though both the president and Pentagon leaders have voiced support for it.

Leading article: A small step back from mayhem

It is a measure of the interconnected nature of the world that a decision by a small-time Florida pastor could be met with relief around the globe. Terry Jones suspended his plan for a Koran-burning to mark today's anniversary of the attacks of 9/11 in response to a report, not subsequently confirmed, that the controversial Islamic Centre would be moved from its intended site near Ground Zero.

Suicide bomber kills five Afghan police and one civilian

A suicide bomber perched on the back of a motorcycle killed five Afghan policemen and one civilian in the increasingly violent northern province of Kunduz today.

Leading article: Only the start of the battle

One can only wish Robert Gates well in his latest effort to bring America's military spending under control. If they are approved by Congress – a very big if – the cuts the US Defence Secretary is outlining, notably the elimination of an entire military command and a thinning of the Pentagon's bloated parallel army of private contractors, will save around $20bn annually over the next five years. Set against the current defence budget of some $700bn a year, the reduction is less than breathtaking. But it is a step in the right direction.

Gates faces political battle over defence cuts

Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary, faces a fierce political battle after announcing cuts in America's military spending of $100bn over the next five years, at the cost of thousands of outsourced civilian contracting jobs, and the elimination of an entire military command.

Rupert Cornwell: Does America need so many spooks?

I left town earlier this month for a holiday with the headlines full of one spy scandal. I returned this week to be greeted by another. The first of course was the uncovering of a network of Russian "illegals", operating in the US under deep cover as innocuous suburbanites, tasked to scoop up secrets for Moscow Centre. In reality they seem to have scooped up next to nothing, but no matter. It was a splendid tale, redolent of a simpler Cold War age.

It's fun to kill in Afghanistan, says top US commander

The US military, still recovering from the shock of the sacking of General Stanley McChrystal, its top commander in Afghanistan – is facing fresh problems over revelations that another top commander declared that it was "fun to shoot people" in Afghanistan.

Petraeus: exit strategy is not a rushed withdrawal

General David Petraeus told the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday that Nato faces an "industrial strength insurgency" in Afghanistan and indicated that as the next top commander there he would consider "certain tweaks, refinements, perhaps significant changes" to get to the point where a withdrawal of US forces can begin.

Rupert Cornwell: President's message to allies, enemies and Pentagon brass

It is one thing to hold an uninhibited discussion in private. It is quite another for the argument to rage in public

Cameron offers cash – but not troops – to help fight the Taliban

David Cameron offered extra funds to combat roadside bombs taking a relentless toll on British lives during his first visit to Afghanistan as Prime Minister yesterday, but ruled out sending any extra troops to help turn the tide of the war against the Taliban.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis