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

Military action 'would destabilise Iraq'

Iraq will be plunged into a new war if Israel or the US launches an attack on Iran, Iraqi leaders have warned. Iranian retaliation would take place in Iraq, said Dr Mahmoud Othman, the influential Iraqi MP.

US issues threat to Iraq's $50bn foreign reserves in military deal

The US is holding hostage some $50bn (£25bn) of Iraq's money in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to pressure the Iraqi government into signing an agreement seen by many Iraqis as prolonging the US occupation indefinitely, according to information leaked to The Independent.

McClellan says first loyalty is to truth as he defends Bush book

Declaring that "loyalty to the truth" was more important than his affection for President George Bush, the softly-spoken former White House press secretary, Scott McClellan, took to the airwaves yesterday to defend his bombshell new book, that has become an overnight sensation and accuses the Bush administration of manipulating intelligence to justify the Iraq war.

Tariq Aziz faces trial for executing 42

Tariq Aziz, one of the most famous faces of Saddam Hussein's regime, is to go on trial next week accused of ordering the execution of 42 merchants for increasing food prices in 1992.

Galloway suffers the slings and arrows as he is hit by 'stress ball'

The latest bizarre episode in the life of George Galloway happened in public yesterday, when a rubber "stress ball" flung from an office window scored a direct hit on the MP as he campaigned in central London.

Five years after fall of Baghdad, all-day curfew is imposed

The fifth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad and the toppling of the statute of Saddam Hussein – a symbol of US victory and might – was marked yesterday by death and destruction across the country and an admission from the White House that projected troop withdrawals would have to be delayed.

'Dodgy dossier' was 'wrong', its author says

The government official who wrote the first draft of the "dodgy dossier" that helped propel Britain into war in Iraq today admits, "We were wrong."

War crimes: My Lai is a lesson from history

The killing of 24 civilians in Haditha has reminded America of another massacre that tarnished its reputation 38 years ago. Rupert Cornwell reports

Giles Fraser: Why Opus Dei link rules Ruth Kelly out of equalities brief

The minister for equality has had a bad week. Ruth Kelly is under fire overher beliefs and her ministerial portfolio. Does she think homosexuality a sin, runs the enquiry. I'm "not going to get into these questions", is her reply. She doesn't have to.

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own