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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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
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