News

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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Arts and Entertainment
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Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
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Cameron Jerome
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine