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

European governments urge US not to exclude expensive air force bids

German and French officials have written to the White House over the terms of its air force refuelling contract.

Panic over false bomb alert before Obama sworn in

As the United States prepared 12 months ago for the historic inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation's new president, top-level officials of the incoming team and of the departing administration of George Bush were jointly trying to deal with a potentially devastating terror threat, which, in the end, proved not to be real.

Robert Gates: Our founding fathers' belief in public service is due a revival

I worry about how difficult it has become to persuade talented and capable young people to enter the public arena. Much of the resistance no doubt stems from the perceived hassles, frustrations and sacrifices of public life. The scepticism is somewhat understandable. Government is, partially by design of the founding fathers, slow, unwieldy, and almost comically inefficient. I have just about seen it all, since first entering government 43 years ago and now having worked for eight presidents.

Karzai unveils new cabinet though little changes

Afghan President Hamid Harzai plans to keep most of his top ministers, mainly technocrats favoured by the West, in a new cabinet presented to parliament today, one of his ministers said.

Iraqi insurgents hack US drones

Insurgents in Iraq have hacked into live video feeds from Predator drones, a major weapon in a Pentagon spy system that serves as the military's eyes in the sky for surveillance and intelligence collection.

Iran needs up to 15 nuclear plants, says foreign minister

Iran needs up to 15 nuclear plants to generate electricity, its foreign minister said today, underlining Tehran's determination to press ahead with a programme the West suspects is aimed at making bombs.

Government 'making progress' on Afghanistan troops

Prime Minister Gordon Brown did not understand the significance of Britain's military campaign in Afghanistan until a few months ago, a former Army chief-turned-Tory adviser said today.

US admits it has no idea of Bin Laden's whereabouts

The United States has no real idea where Osama bin Laden, the al-Qa'ida leader, may be hiding, and has not had the benefit of any substantial intelligence on his possible whereabouts "for years", the US Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates, conceded yesterday.

Rupert Cornwell: Obama must explain how he'll get them out

Sympathetic commentators are turning against the President, accusing him of being too ruthless – or not tough enough

Afghanistan: The hokey-cokey strategy

On eve of Obama's surge, Brown aims to convince voters he has a plan for withdrawal. Handover 'could begin by end of 2010' – but PM is set to commit 500 more troops

Obama promises Afghan decision soon

President Barack Obama, facing withering criticism for a prolonged decision-making process on Afghanistan, asserted today he doesn't want the next move to be seen as an "open-ended commitment."

Military rivals fight for the ear of Obama

A long-standing feud between two of America's most senior soldiers lies at the heart of the President's inability to decide his Afghan strategy, says Kim Sengupta

Ex-ministers call for vote on war in Afghanistan

Pressure grows on Brown after claim that US was close to troop decision is rejected

Beyond the little black dress

The party season isn't only about dresses. In fact, the new evening wear is more exciting than that, says Carola Long

Thousands protest at Japanese US air base

Thousands of Japanese gathered in sweltering heat on the southern island of Okinawa yesterday to demand that a US Marine base be moved out of the region, days ahead of a visit by US President Barack Obama.

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Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'