News March 1974: Hiroo Onoda (2nd left) walking from the jungle where he had hidden since World War II. Onoda has died at the age of 91

Second Lt. Onoda, who finally surrendered in 1974, has died at the age of 91

Two Bulgarians in London yesterday, the day restrictions were lifted allowing their countrymen to live and work in Britain

All quiet at the coach station as fears of invasion from Eastern Europe come to nothing

Fears that a torrent of Romanians and Bulgarians would take advantage of new rules freeing them to live and work in the UK prove unfounded

My life in travel - Jodie Whittaker

'Hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in New Zealand was extraordinary'
Lava land: volcanic scenery in New Zealand

My life in travel - Jodie Whittaker

'Hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in New Zealand was extraordinary'

Sri Lankan election workers carry ballot boxes before boarding buses as they prepare to go to their polling centres in Jaffna

Sri Lanka's Tamil community finally get provincial council vote

Every day Raja Padmanabhan, a 63-year-old bachelor living in a quiet area of Jaffna, hopes someone will hire his services. He has his own van and often drives doctors from the Jaffna hospital or – on longer trips – visitors from the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora who want to see the former battlegrounds of the north or the calmer sites of Kandy or Sigiriya further south.  

Sydney Opera House

Australia travel: 10 inspiring articles to plan a holiday half-way round the world

This weekend London’s Royal Academy launches Australia, a new exhibition that focuses on two centuries of artistic endeavour in this dazzling country. To mark the occasion, The Independent’s travel desk has inspiring ideas for anyone considering a journey to Oz – the ultimate winter sun destination.

Tom Daley: Marked out as a future media star after posing with Kate Moss at a photo shoot for Italian Vogue aged 15. TV career beckons after coaching role on hit celebrity diving show Splash! despite concern over outside commitments

Tom Daley to host TV travel adventure series on ITV

Olympic diving star Tom Daley is swapping backflips for backpacks as he heads around the world for a new TV series.

A gang-rape last December sparked protests demanding better protection for women

India police arrest three men over American woman's gang rape in Himalaya foothills

Police in the north of India have arrested three men following the rape of an American female tourist - the latest in a series of sexual assaults on foreign women.

The 10 Best tents

Whether you’re gearing up for a festival or planning a family holiday under canvas, we’ve got it pegged

Open Jaw

Ultimate European rail journeys

I agree about the Glacier Express journey – beautiful. In spring, you go past houses covered in snow; in summer, Alpine meadows and flowers; while autumn brings the different tree colours. If you can afford it, travel first class. A totally different experience!

Jeanne

Mineral wealth: otherwordly formations in the spirit caves

Underground Thailand: Subterranean spirits

Mysterious caves in remote Thailand reveal their secrets to Lucy Winstanley Norris

Bound, beaten and robbed: Backpackers attacked by whip-brandishing Peruvian villagers in 'savage' two day ordeal

New photo reveals injuries sustained by the three Americans

Going back to to nature can boost your brain power (from left) Daniel Stern, Billy Crystal and Bruno Kirby escape their stifling suburban lives in ‘City Slickers’

Want to boost your brain? Take a tip from Mother Nature

Time spent away from electronic gadgets can stimulate creative abilities study finds

Straight, Bush Theatre, London

How far would you go to prove that you had not become stuffy and predictable? That's one of the questions posed by Straight, D C Moore's entertaining rewrite of the 2009 US Indie movie, Humpday.

Catch a wave: the beaches along California’s coast are among America’s top surfing spots

My Life in Travel: Anna Calvi

'Travel makes me feel optimistic, like I’m searching for something new’

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas