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Cameron has given up on Afghanistan

A fundamental shift has quietly taken place in Britain’s approach to Afghanistan: the focus is now on leaving, not winning. Con Coughlin asks if we are seeing the return of the politics of appeasement It is difficult to pinpoint the precise moment that David Cameron gave up on the war in Afghanistan. But the Prime

Increasingly isolated, Karzai turns to Pakistan

The extraordinary raw intelligence leaks from the Afghan battlefield confirmed what many people already believed, or feared, about the war. But amidst the avalanche of documents, several new facts have emerged. We now know, for example, that civilians are being killed in much larger numbers than officially admitted by Nato. We know that the Taleban

The burka curtails my freedom

The great debate about the full-face Muslim veil is usually cast in terms of religious rights, says Carol Sarler. But what about my right to see who I’m talking to? So we’re all agreed then. The great burka debate has enthusiastically consumed recent weeks, even though its conclusion was never in doubt: nobody actually intends

Because she’s worth it

The scandal over Liliane Bettencourt’s L’Oréal fortune is exposing the way French high society operates, says Patrick Marnham. And it is harming President Sarkozy in the polls It all started as a banal family squabble over €17 billion. Liliane Bettencourt is heir to the L’Oréal family fortune and among the 20 wealthiest individuals in the

Dressing down

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the continental midday sun. But at least the mad dogs don’t dress in vests, belly-hugging T-shirts or those cut-off trousers that make short men shorter and fat men fatter. Why do they do it? How has it happened that you can spot Holidaymakerus britannicus in an instant, from

Time to take the thumbscrews off the banks

The biggest risk to the economy is not government cuts, says John Redwood, but lack of credit. There’s plenty ministers can do to get companies, and people, borrowing again This time it is different. Normally the UK economy bounces back from a downturn, and we have several years of rising prosperity. Today there are many