News

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.

UK troops engaged in Operation Moshtarak

British troops were today engaged in fierce fighting with the Taliban in southern Afghanistan as Operation Moshtarak got under way.

Staying on: The last Brits in Iraq

Most people think Britain’s military involvement in Iraq is over. But for the forgotten Royal Navy and Royal Marine teams that remain in the country, the truth is very different indeed

Nato-led troops launch major offensive in Afghanistan

A major offensive was underway last night in Afghanistan as Nato forces launched a series of attacks designed to drive out the Taliban.

Nato's show of force is also about winning hearts and minds

The decision to publicise the imminent offensive in Afghanistan is all part of the strategy, says Kim Sengupta

British troops move on Taliban stronghold

The mission to capture Marja, the largest Taliban strongholds in Helmand, has begun with British forces clearing insurgent positions in an airbourne assault.

The Suicide Run: Five Tales of the Marine Corps, By William Styron

My father – an Irish Catholic from a working-class corner of Brooklyn – joined the Marine Corps shortly after Pearl Harbour Day (7 December 1941). He signed up with five friends from his neighbourhood, Prospect Heights. They were shipped out to do basic training, then dispatched to a piece of Pacific property called Okinawa. Of the six Prospect Heights kids who joined the Corps (as my Dad always called it), only my father survived. In the ensuing decades, when I would often question him about his years in the armed services, he would remain profoundly tight-lipped about what exactly went down in Okinawa – except to say that being a Marine was the most formative experience of his life.

Defence firm halts 'Biblical' rifle sights

An American defence contractor said today it would stop stamping Bible references on combat rifle sights sold to the US Army and Marines and the Australian and New Zealand military.

Robert Fisk’s World: The stakes get higher as Arab princes try to outdo each other

Do the Saudis not have the slightest idea of what is going on around them?

Patrick Cockburn: The US is failing Haiti – again

There is nobody to co-ordinate the most rudimentary relief and rescue efforts

Andrew Buncombe: A country so poor the people buy mud to eat

The timelines that show the slew of natural disasters to have befallen Haiti in two centuries since it secured independence from France give an indication of the vulnerability of the Caribbean nation to the forces of extreme weather.

Journalist's body flown home

The body of Sunday Mirror defence correspondent Rupert Hamer, the first British journalist to be killed in Afghanistan, returned to the UK yesterday.

Sunday Mirror journalist killed in Afghan blast

The defence correspondent of the Sunday Mirror newspaper has become the first British journalist to be killed while covering the war in Afghanistan.

Rupert Cornwell: Another blow for the agency caps a miserable 2009

The loss of seven, perhaps more, CIA operatives at Base Chapman caps what has been a miserable year for the most important American intelligence agency, even by its own unhappy recent standards.

Patrick Cockburn: Threats to Yemen prove America hasn't learned the lesson of history

Extraordinarily, the US is making exactly the same mistake as in Iraq and Afghanistan
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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
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Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album