News British girl Madeleine McCann, who was allegedy abducted 03 May 2007 from the resort apartment where she was on vacation with her family in the Algarve

British police reportedly made the request to their Portuguese counterparts in a recent meeting between the two forces

Villa park: Vilacampina’s Moorish-style exterior

B&B and Beyond: Vilacampina, Portugal

This Moorish-style guesthouse is a sophisticated base for exploring the region's natural delights, says Katie Monk

The Big Six: Portuguese retreats

Luxury escapism, olive groves and natural lagoons

Deals of the week: Costa del Sol, Algarve, Land of the Midnight Sun

Less than £200... For the price of £169pp, BA Holidays has four nights of warm winter sun in Spain on the Costa del Sol. It includes flights from Gatwick on 5 March and self-catering accommodation at the Benalmadena Palace, which has a pool and beach, close to Torremelinos. Britishairways.com

Snow covers the Trocadero gardens in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Deals of the week: Paris, the Algarve and Northern India

Less than £200... Armed with The Independent’s latest 48 Hours in Paris, take  Eurostar from London St Pancras on 26 January for two nights in the French capital for £193 – including B&B at the two-star Hotel Americain, close to Place de la République. Upgrade the train for £104 per person. Crestaholidays.co.uk

Wanted 'cocaine plot' Briton Lee Dryden held in Portugal

A Briton wanted by police over an alleged multi-million pound cocaine smuggling plot in 2007 has been arrested in Portugal after a separate haul of the drug was found on a yacht.

Phillips Idowu looms large over visitors to the Westfield Centre near the Olympic Park yesterday

Charles van Commenee reveals that he was close to dumping Phillips Idowu from Team GB squad

Head coach irritated by fitness saga but insists he had to give triple jumper chance to 'fulfil his dream'

Phillips Idowu yesterday posted this video of himself in a gym session

Idowu injury worries deepen

The odds about Phillips Idowu making the 2012 Olympics – or at least making them in anything approaching medal shape – lengthened yesterday when it emerged the former world triple jump champion would be staying in London to have private treatment to "an ongoing injury" instead of attending the British athletics team's pre-Games "holding camp" at Monte Gordo in Portugal.

Phillips Idowu: The Hackney
triple jumper is receiving
treatment from a private physio

Phillips Idowu doubts grow as injury keeps him away from camp

The odds on Phillips Idowu making the 2012 Olympics – or at least making in them in anything approaching medal shape – lengthened yesterday when it emerged the former world triple jump champion would be staying in London to have private treatment to "an ongoing injury" instead of attending the British athletics team's pre-Games "holding camp" at Monte Gordo in Portugal.

Forest fires threaten holiday resorts in Portugal

Flames threaten apartments, hotels and houses above Funchal, the capital of the Portuguese island of Madeira. A school was among buildings to be evacuated.

Cerca do Sul is surrounded by lawns and an orchard

B&B And Beyond: Cerca do Sul, Alentejo, Portugal

This charming guesthouse is the perfect base for exploring the Costa Vicentina Natural Park, says Susannah Osborne

Taxi driver's Madeleine McCann 'sighting' ignored

A taxi driver who believes he picked up Madeleine McCann the night after she vanished has claimed that Portuguese police ignored his report.

Madeleine McCann before her disappearance in 2007, and what she might now look like as a nine-year-old

Kate and Gerry McCann speak of fresh hope over Madeleine

Kate and Gerry McCann said today they have "no doubt" that the Portuguese authorities will eventually reopen the investigation into their daughter Madeleine's disappearance.

Simon Calder: Should you beware Greeks bearing beers?

The man who pays his way

Family getaway: Portugal's Algarve

Travel Challenge: Half term in Portugal

Each week, we invite three companies to offer us their best deal for a specific holiday. Today: a family holiday in Portugal during half term. Prices are based on two adults and two children travelling. Each package includes flights from the UK on Saturday 2 June, transfers and a week's accommodation.

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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain