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The governor of Okinawa has approved controversial plans to relocate a US Marine base to a less populous area – but said he would keep pressing to move the base off the of the Japanese island altogether.

Terri Judd: Sand and emotion

I had tears streaming down my face as I left the US Marines’ forward base of Combat Operating Post Sharp. Not due to emotion but sand.

On Helmand's frontline with the US marines

The heat, the sweat, the fear and the firefights: Terri Judd joins the 2nd Platoon as it clashes with the Taliban, dodging bullets and tangling with IEDs

Terri Judd: 'Armed social work': the Marines' new brief

Our writer watches the American soldiers in Helmand wage their peaceful war for hearts and minds

Terri Judd: 'Armed social workers' in Helmand

In possibly the remotest NATO position in Helmand, the US Marines are trying to make friends and influence people amongst villages that were long held in the strangle hold of the Taliban.

'We pity the Brits': the view from the Marines

US troops in Afghanistan are shocked by the standard of equipment their British counterparts have to use.

Roddick shines on NY's 'crazy' nights

Home hero secures win at 1am after close call for injury-hit Venus Williams

In the field with the troops in Helmand

The shadows moved fleetingly in the alley. Then came the shots, staccato bursts from Kalashnikovs forcing us to dive behind a wall. The Taliban would not give up their stronghold without a fight ...

US Marines 'frustrated' by British jet

The British jet called in by the US Marines had the Taliban position in sight, but the pilot refused to fire, a decision that frustrated Marines on the ground but one in line with new orders by the top US commander to protect civilians.

Secret deal to keep Karzai in power

Afghan President's alliance with rival designed to prevent civil war after election

21 killed as bomb hits Afghan wedding party

A roadside bomb struck a tractor carrying people to a wedding in southern Afghanistan, killing 21 civilians in one of the deadliest strikes in weeks, Afghan officials said today.

Panther's Claw: victory is declared – but at a price

Six-week battle for a chunk of Helmand the size of the Isle of Wight saw the most intense fighting of UK's Afghan mission

Paddy Ashdown: What we must do to win this war in Afghanistan

In this important and timely essay, Lord Ashdown argues that the history of the Afghan war is one of continuous mistakes, and outlines the key factors which can transform defeat into success

Leading article: Caught in the act

Oh dear. Robert Capa's famous Spanish Civil War photo of a militiaman falling at the very moment of his death is probably a fake. It's been uncovered that there was no military action that day in the place where it was taken.

Six killed as NATO helicopter crashes in Afghanistan

A NATO-contracted helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan today killing six civilians on board and an Afghan child on the ground. Two US Marines and an Italian soldier died in other violence.

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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 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living