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

Backpacker wrote letters of farewell

The British backpacker who survived 12 days in the Australian outback wrote goodbye letters to his family, fearing he would not be rescued. Jamie Neale told 60 Minutes: "I was thinking I might die on that mountain."

Bush survivor discusses ordeal

Jamie Neale said thinking about his mother kept him going through the 12-day ordeal when he was lost in the bush.

Backpacker stays in hospital

A "back from the dead" backpacker who was lost in the Australian bush for 12 days could be discharged from hospital tomorrow.

Backpacker who came back from the dead... to a scolding

Teenage Briton emerges to face his father after 12 days lost in Aussie bush

Redundant City high-flyers take their money and run

Having brought the world to its knees, redundancy-hit city workers are suddenly heading off to actually see some of it, and they're taking their pay-offs with them. Many newly redundant "extrava-gappers" are putting down their P45s and picking up their passports for long, expensive breaks, says lifestyle management company WhiteConcierge.

Go with the flow: Ride volcanoes

Surfing started with big waves and wooden boards. Then it moved on to ski slopes and sand dunes. But those are nothing compared to the latest thrill – riding active volcanoes. Simon Usborne reports

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, by Geoff Dyer

If ever there was a book of two halves, it is this, Geoff Dyer's first novel for over a decade. His last fictional excursion (though for Dyer the division is largely artificial) was Paris, Trance, a druggy elegy for 90s romanticism that was partly a reworking of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises.

I forgive her killer, says backpacker's father

Life sentence for teenage New Zealander guilty of killing British tourist

Gap Year: Stay put and explore the culture

Perhaps the hardest part of taking a gap year is choosing where to go and what to do. The range of projects on offer is overwhelming. Many people overcome this by booking round-the-world tickets and trying to go everywhere and do everything. It's now common for a gapper to jump from South Africa to Thailand to Australia to Buenos Aires and pass through LA before returning home, having covered six continents in six months.

Players ‘disheartened’ under Keane

Sunderland defender George McCartney has claimed that his team-mates were not happy working for Roy Keane after their former manager spoke for the first time about why he left the club.

Genius moments: February 2008

'Armed police would not fire back. – I wish I'd had a gun, not a camera'

Jerome Taylor talks to the photographer whose picture went around the world

Fossett's wrecked plane found in mountain area

Wreckage found today in California has been identified as the aircraft piloted by adventurer Steve Fossett.

Nigh-No-Place, By Jen Hadfield

The work of Ted Hughes has only recently begun to influence poets in significant numbers, most notably Alice Oswald and now Jen Hadfield, whose Nigh-No-Place is in the running for this year's Forward Prize. Not that Hadfield's restless eco-poetics sound especially like Hughes. There is a backpacker feel to the volume's twin locations of Canada and Shetland, yet the writing is rooted in both places because, for all the comically unflattering self-portraits, the poet usually faces outwards, on to landscapes dazzling after rain or blurred by mist.

Gap year: off into the unknown

High-profile tragedies have made parents wary, but well-planned gap years are worth the risk, says Laura Jones
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Day In a Page

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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there