Get me out of here: French Alps, Thailand, Central America

Now... The Neilson sale ends at midnight. Go to the website to book packages for the 2012/13 ski season. Offers include: a self-catering week at Les Olympiades in the French Alps, at Val Thorens. Fly from Gatwick to Grenoble on 5 Jan for £413pp. Neilson.co.uk

A view of the Bangkok skyline

Thailand could host street race Bangkok Grand Prix

A grand prix in Thailand is on the cards from 2014 as an agreement is understood to have been reached in principle for a race to be run around the streets of Bangkok.

A member of the

Red shirts rally as Thai constitutional crisis looms

Thailand's "red shirts" turned out in force yesterday to warn that they will not stand by if the judiciary rejects a plan to amend the constitution – a rewrite that critics say is aimed at allowing the exiled former premier Thaksin Shinawatra to come home.

Thai court jails banker Rakesh Saxena over 1990s crisis-era fraud

A Thai court jailed an Indian financier for 10 years today for massive embezzlement that helped bankrupt a Thai bank in the mid-1990s and spark a crisis in the financial sector that spread through Asia in 1997.

Thailand: Editor Chiranuch Premchaiporn sentenced over royal posts

A website editor was given an eight-month suspended jail sentence for failing quickly to remove posts deemed offensive to the monarchy. The case adds to a growing debate over Thailand's draconian laws against insulting the royal family.

A supporter lays a wreath next to portraits of Amphon Tangnoppakul outside Bangkok Remand Prison

Thai grandfather Amphon Tangnoppakul jailed for insulting King dies in prison

Amphon Tangnoppakul, who became known as Uncle SMS after he was convicted of defaming Thailand's royal family in a series of text messages, has died in a Bangkok jail.

Thai Amphon Tangnoppakul jailed for anti-royalty texts dies in prison

A Thai man in his 60s who became known as "Uncle SMS" after he was convicted of defaming Thailand's royal family in mobile phone text messages has died while serving his 20-year prison term, his lawyer said today.

12 dead in Thailand factory fire

A fire caused by explosions in one of the world's largest petrochemical industrial estates has killed 12 and injured more than 100 people in eastern Thailand.

Matthew Norman: Time for Jack Straw's renditionto Libya?

Could George Galloway's widely ridiculed mis-tweet about Respect's by-election being in Blackburn prove a self-fulfilling prophecy? I only ask because even Jack Straw, below, would struggle to brazen it out and remain the MP for Blackburn if he was nicked on suspicion of colluding in the torture of Abdelhakim Belhaj.

Matthew Norman on Monday: Business class flight to Diego Garcia for Mr Straw

Could George Galloway's widely ridiculed mistweet about Respect's by-election being in Blackburn prove a self-fulfilling prophecy? I only ask because even Jack Straw would struggle to brazen it out and remain the MP for Blackburn if he is nicked on suspicion of colluding in the torture of Abdelhakim Belhaj.

Holy Jihad, from the inside: Timothy Mo

Pure, By Timothy Mo

Just past the halfway mark in Timothy Mo's seventh novel, his heroine – a strapping Bangkok ladyboy who has joined a company of bloodthirsty Islamist warriors – wanders through a serene orchard on an island close to Singapore. Snooky's jihadi platoon (sanook = fun in Thai) has halted for a brief rest en route to help the insurgent Moros of the Philippines as fellow holy warriors. She (and for all the unwanted testosterone that jungle warfare brings, Snooky's chosen pronoun never wavers) samples the fruit of the ebony tree. It is not dark and dense like the wood, but pale, delicate and enigmatic: "tart and sweet in the same mouthful, soft but crunchy... If marzipan dormice grew on trees... they would taste like this". If this moment smacks of Eden, and forbidden fruit, it also helps initiate Snooky into the mysteries of the jihadi pursuit, where darkness yields to light, stark contradictions resolve themselves, and chaste perfection grows from the crooked timber of humanity.

Couple murdered at resort

A British man and his Thai wife have been robbed and beaten to death at a resort in southern Thailand.

Three more Iranians held over Thailand bomb plot

The skidding story of the Bangkok bomb plot took another twist yesterday when police revealed they were questioning another Iranian whom they believe could be involved.

Security footage from Bangkok shows the three Iranian bomb suspects, from left, Mohammad Khazaei, Saied Moradi – who blew off his legs in the explosions – and Masoud Sedaghat Zadeh

How bright lights of Pattaya seduced Iran's bungling Bangkok bombers

Numerous clues were left in the red-light district of the Thai resort by terror team. Peter Popham reports

Mohammad Kharzei was caught at Bangkok’s main airport

Bangkok blasts were assassination attempts not terrorism, says Thai official

The explosive devices belonging to three Iranians that went off in Bangkok were more likely designed for assassinating people rather than large-scale terrorism, Thai officials have revealed. They also said the devices were similar to that used to attack the wife of an Israeli diplomat in Delhi earlier in the week.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

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Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

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Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

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Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

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From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

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