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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.

McCain challenges gays in military

A leading Republican senator yesterday claimed a US military study on gays was flawed and that letting them serve openly would be dangerous in a time of war.

US troops take hard line to tame rebels of Sangin

There was so much high explosive raining down it was hard to believe anyone could have survived beneath the two-hour salvo of guided artillery rounds, Hellfire missiles and strafing runs by F/A-18 warplanes and helicopter gunships.

South Korea mourns two marines killed in North attack

South Korean dignitaries placed white chrysanthemums on a funeral altar today for two marines killed in a North Korean bombardment, as the country prepared military manoeuvres with the US that have enraged the North and concerned China.

The Gun: The AK-47 and the Evolution of War, By CJ Chivers

Introduced to the world in 1947, the Kalashnikov automatic rifle changed the course of warfare

James Neal: Lawyer who put Jimmy Hoffa in jail and prosecuted the perpetrators of the Watergate cover-up

James Neal, a stocky, cigar-chomping ex-Marine, won victories on both sides of the courtroom and was involved in some of America's biggest legal battles. He successfully prosecuted the Teamsters' boss Jimmy Hoffa, as well as key Nixon administration officials for conspiracy during the Watergate scandal. He also acted for the defence for the film-maker John Landis and in the Ford Pinto and Exxon Valdez cases.

Outside Edge: Not exactly a barrel of laughs

It's bobbins. The Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust have branded the traditional Hallowe'en game of apple-bobbing "dangerous", with consultant opthalmologist Parwez Hossain warning that "at the extreme end of the scale you could end up losing your sight". The hospital had to treat three people for injuries caused by this hardcore activity last year, including scratches on the cornea from stalks, which they suggest should be removed beforehand. They also warn against eye infections picked up from bobbing in dirty water, and recommend that children use their hands instead of their mouths to retrieve the apples, or at least wear goggles "where there is a chance of a high-velocity impact, for example with an apple". Alex Crossland-Robins, a 10-year-old from Oldham who hopes to swim at the 2020 Olympics, has been told by the local council that he is not allowed to wear goggles in the pool because he must "get used to eye contact with the water". Let's hope there's no fruit floating around.

Schwarzenegger praises 'action hero' troops

Arnold Schwarzenegger hailed British troops as the "true action heroes" today.

Wife pays tribute to Afghan death soldier

The wife of a British soldier killed in Afghanistan said today that his death would leave a "gaping hole" in his family's life.

Sangin: A quiet end to a mission of unimaginable violence

After four years and 105 deaths, UK forces have left Sangin, writes Kim Sengupta

UK troops pass control of Sangin to US forces

British forces in southern Afghanistan handed responsibility for security in Sangin to US forces, the Ministry of Defence said today.

A walk along the seafront from Southsea to the Historic Dockyard

Discover what Portsmouth is really all about on a walk along the seafront

As the US troops depart, bombs rip through Iraq

Al-Qa'ida showed that it has the strength to strike all over Iraq yesterday by making a string of attacks that left at least 56 dead, half of them policemen and soldiers, and 250 wounded, across at least thirteen cities and towns.

Afghan withdrawal date bolsters enemy says General

President Barack Obama's July 2011 date to start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan has given a morale boost to Taliban insurgents, who believe they can wait out Nato forces, the top US Marine said yesterday.

How the rest of the world has so far responded to Pakistan crisis

The world is now beginning to respond in a significant way to the almost bottomless pit of need in Pakistan. Whether – with some 20 million affected and the nation's ability to feed itself ruined for years to come – it will be enough is very doubtful.

Ex-policeman shot dead in Afghanistan

A former Northern Ireland police officer working for a security services company has been shot dead in Afghanistan.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
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Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
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How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
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10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
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Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
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The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?