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The Defence secretary Philip Hammond is under Opposition fire for wasting tens of millions of pounds on the failed semi-privatisation of a weapons-buying agency only to “adopt” Labour’s proposed reforms from 2011.

General Dawoud Rajha: One of the architects of the Syrian crackdown

Syria's Defence Minister General Dawoud Rajha was the most senior government official to be killed in the Syrian uprising. As a Greek Orthodox Christian, he was something of a rarity in the Syrian military establishment, which is dominated by the Alawite sect of President Bashar al-Assad.

Briton killed in Afghanistan shooting named as Dave Chamberlain

A British civilian contractor shot dead by someone wearing an Afghan national security force uniform was a father of two from Kent.

Three Nato service members killed in Afghanistan

Insurgent attacks have killed three Nato service members in eastern Afghanistan.

Syrian forces stretched as intelligence chief dies

A fourth member of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's inner circle died today from a bomb attack this week and his forces fought to recapture border posts and parts of Damascus from rebels who have converged on the capital.

Servicemen and women allowed to march in uniform at San Diego's Gay Pride Parade

Servicemen and women are being allowed to march in uniform in a gay pride parade for the first time in US history.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, left, and his new Defence Minister, Fahad Jassim al-Freij, in Damascus yesterday

Hunt for Assad is on amid claims of wife Asma's exit to Russia

President allays injury suspicions with TV appearance to swear in Defence Minister

Syria shells rebels in Damascus

Syrian government forces are shelling a number of neighbourhoods in and around the capital Damascus, anti-regime activists say, a day after a bomb killed three members of president Bashar Assad's inner circle.

The Government could break the link between benefits and inflation, David Cameron said today

David Cameron presses Russia over Syria action

David Cameron has heaped pressure on Russia to back tough action against the Syrian regime amid fears the country is sliding into civil war.

HMS Vanguard, one of Britain's Trident nuclear submarines

Lib Dems push for 'stand-by' Trident replacement deal

Party leaders say proposal not to replace Vanguard subs would save billions and set them apart from the Tories

Dawoud Rajha, Defence Minister

Architects of regime's brutal crackdown pay the ultimate price

The Damascus bombing killed or severely injured four out of about eight of Bashar al-Assad's inner circle, who have been responsible for directing the bloody crackdown since the start of the uprising.

Leading article: The turning of the tide in Syria

The bomb at the National Security headquarters in Damascus yesterday struck a potentially fatal blow at the heart of the Assad regime.

Crowds in Damascus celebrate the news of yesterday’s bomb strikes

A ruthless attack that proves Assad is not invincible

After 16 months of brutality, Syria's President yesterday experienced it at his own door

David Cameron enjoys sausages with Afghanistan troops

David Cameron shared a lunch of German sausage and potato with soldiers as he questioned them about capabilities of their Afghan counterparts.

G4S chief executive Nick Buckles gives evidence on Olympic security staffing to the Home Affairs Select Committee

Government to activate every penalty clause in G4S’s £57 million contract after chaotic Olympic security arrangements

Sports minister Hugh Robertson says G4S’s £57 million ‘management fee’ would be targeted

William Hague condemns Syria bombing

William Hague today condemned the reported killing of Syria's defence minister.

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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...