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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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried