News Jack Straw has just returned from Tehran as part of 'well received' UK parliamentary delegation

Veteran politician has just returned from Tehran as part of 'well received' UK parliamentary delegation

Handover ends Abu Ghraib era

The United States handed over the last detention facility under its control to Iraqi authorities yesterday, a milestone in Iraq's push for complete sovereignty seven years after the US-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.

Maliki beaten into second place in Iraq poll

Negotiations begin among potential coalition partners against a backdrop of rising sectarian tensions

PM plays the anti-Baath card as poll approaches

Talk of former Baathists infiltrating next Sunday's election masks the more complex dilemmas facing Iraq, Patrick Cockburn writes

The Evidence of Witness 69: Blair has shown himself more a fool than a liar

The most revealing thing about the former PM's evidence was how little he understood about the situation on the ground

Blair: Denounced as liar and murderer

An unrepentant Tony Blair failed to apologise to the bereaved in the gallery – and even suggested Iran should be targeted next

Iraq war protesters condemn 'coward' Blair

Tony Blair was accused of being a "coward" and a "war criminal" today as anti-war protesters and military families vented their fury against the former prime minister as he gave evidence to the Iraq inquiry.

The Chilcot story so far: a blame game with one politician in the frame

When Tony Blair finally appears before the Iraq inquiry on Friday, he may well find that the most damning accusations against him come from two unlikely sources. Civil servants blamed him for ignoring warnings about intelligence and post-war planning. But this week equally damaging revelations came from two of his most faithful allies.

Kim Sengupta: Minister paints himself as source of caution

Jack Straw was a man facing a "moral as well as political dilemma" in the run-up to the Iraq war. The support he gave to military action was "the most difficult decision" he had ever taken. It was an "error", he realised, not to be more precise about the claims made in the dossier used to justify the invasion and that has "haunted" him ever since. Regime change, he had insisted, was never the agenda.

Sectarian fears as Iraq bars Sunnis

Iraq's electoral commission has barred 500 candidates from running in March's parliamentary election, including a prominent Sunni lawmaker, in a decision that is sure to deepen Iraq's sectarian divides.

Campbell lays bare Blair's promise to Bush

Former PM's communications chief reveals explosive correspondence between leaders

Campbell to appear at Chilcot inquiry

Alastair Campbell will become the first major political figure to give evidence to the Iraq inquiry.

People power demands: 'get tough on Tony Blair'

An internet-based "people power" campaign is asking its 60,000 members to draw up the "tough questions" that Tony Blair must be asked when he is questioned by the Iraq inquiry this year.

Major launches unprecedented attack on Blair

The former prime minister Sir John Major yesterday mounted his strongest attack on Tony Blair over the Iraq war.

Major fears regime change was Blair's motive for Iraq war

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major has criticised successor Tony Blair over the Iraq war, saying his main motive appeared to have been regime change.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'