News

The three-metre animal, believed to be a female tiger shark, was caught on bait lines and shot in the head four times at close range

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Ideas please for a trans-world meet-up

Q. We want some destination ideas for three girlfriends to meet this year. Two of us are London-based and the third lives in Auckland. We're keen to find somewhere which offers a fairly even flight time (and investment) to get to, whilst still being budget conscious. Our previous holidays together have been European city breaks, but the beach also appeals. We're considering July, or October-December as options.

Catherine Webber, Surbiton

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: A heart patient chasing a flight extension

Q. Last July I booked a holiday to South Africa through Expedia, flying on KLM, in April. I then discovered I will need a heart operation at that time. I asked Expedia to contact KLM and ask for a one-year extension. KLM would only give a year's extension from date of purchase of tickets, ie until July 2013. Is there any way we could persuade KLM otherwise? I have sent a fax to KLM with a doctor's letter but had no reply. As we are pensioners, nearly £1,500 on flight tickets is a lot to lose.

Gordon Hamman, Kendal, Cumbria

Travel Agenda

Welsh hideaways, Keswick writers, Miami, online holiday shop, animated Exeter, Winter Olympics, Ecuador and Jamaica

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: It looks as if Spanish economy has hit another link from the UK

Q. It has been widely reported in the Spanish media that Ryanair will stop flying to Valladolid from 5 March. If you try to book a flight on the website you cannot book from this date. We have booked tickets for April but we have not received any communication from Ryanair. There is nothing on their news page.

Michael Lynch

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: A holiday with a nine-year-old daughter

Q. My partner and I are middle aged and reasonably active with a nine-year-old daughter. But we haven't had a holiday since her birth.

Forget California, Visit Bournemouth

Think Bournemouth is all beach-strolling and cycling?

Mark Cavendish celebrates his third stage victory in a row

Cycling: Mark Cavendish all but certain of taking Tour of Qatar title

British rider wins third stage in a row to extend overall lead

It's floating gold! Dog walker finds 'horrible smelling' lump of sperm whale vomit worth £100,000

Substance is used in perfumes such as Chanel No.5 to amplify the scent

Residents look at the foam-covered streets

Video: Australian town covered in foam

A town in Australia has been covered in foam after strong winds blew the surf off the sea and onto the shore.

Idyllic: A view of the old town on the island of Alonissos

Armageddon in Alonissos: A late-season treat on a gem in the Aegean? No such luck...

It was a glorious plan. A blast of late-summer sun with three girlfriends on the idyllic Greek island of Alonissos, where my best friend's parents have a tiny house at the top of the mountain.

<p>{1} Beer to Branscombe, Devon</p>
<p>This amble along the Jurassic Coast is perfect for dog-walkers. The South West Coast Path is canine-friendly and Branscombe and East Beach in Beer allow dogs on the sands. The Anchor Inn and the Mason's Arms, at the star and end of the route, are also recommended by DoggiePubs.org.uk.</p>
<p>5.3 miles, southwestcoastpath.com</p>

The 10 best coastal walks

Whether you want a short hike or more of a marathon, stretch your legs and enjoy some of Britain's best sea views

Crew rescued from stricken tug boat

Eight people have been rescued off the coast of Devon from a tug which is carrying 200 tonnes of diesel.

IoS DVD review: Dredd

I'd tell you to forget Sylvester Stallone's overblown Judge Dredd movie, but you probably already have.

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Where to eat when you're in Monte Carlo

Q. Can you recommend where to eat in Monte Carlo without it costing a fortune, on a budget? We are staying at the Novotel Monte Carlo.

David Jackson

DVD & Blu-ray review: Take This Waltz (15) Sarah Polley (111mins)

Michelle Williams's mildly depressed wannabe author is married to Seth Rogen's slightly juvenile cookbook writer. But then she meets free-spirited Daniel (Luke Kirby).

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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 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