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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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
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Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

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Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape