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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

Open Jaw

Where readers write back

Travel Challenge: short break in Miami Beach

Each week we invite three companies to offer us their best deal for a specific holiday

Tips and deals of the week: Manfroto StilePlus camera bags, Beech House Holidays barn all-inclusive, Black.co.uk beach accessories

The bag

Camera bags can be functional and sleek, as with the Manfrotto StilePlus range (shoulder bag, backpack and tote). From £39.95 (manfrotto.co.uk).

RSPCA rescues dozens of birds covered in sticky substance

Dozens of birds have been recovered from beaches in the south west covered in an oily substance, three months after more than 300 birds were affected by oil pollution, suspected to have seeped from chemical tankers.

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: What are our options if we want to fly from Liverpool to Naples?

Q. For the last 25 years I have been holidaying with my University mates, plus kids and now grandkids. The adults are going to the Naples area in late October for four days.

The six adults from the South had to book the planes quickly as the BA flights were going fast. We saw that easyJet flew from Liverpool, but they have not released the flights yet, any idea when they will?

Or any ideas how the Northern lot (Stafford and Liverpool) can get there - as at this rate it will be just the Southern lot going on their own for the first year for 25 years.

Bev Keech

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Can I visit the US with only six months remaining on my passport?

Q. I am going to the US in late June. My current passport is valid until mid-December. Will it be OK to use this passport or should I get a new one?

Mike Truss

Beach activities during Beach Break Live festival at Pembrey Country Park last year

Festivals – but not as we know them: the next generation of music weekenders is here

Music in a muddy field? No, summer rock has changed

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Jabs for India's Golden Triangle

Q. I would like to know what jabs I should have for travelling to India in November 2013. It is a tour of the "Golden Triangle".

Marian Ivory

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Flights from Detroit to the UK

Q. Do you know of any airline that flies direct to Detroit from the UK? Who, and from where, please?

Jenni Willows

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Recommendations for Perth

Q. Any recommendations for staying in Perth this month? I had an apartment booked in the Fremantle but the owner has just cancelled my booking. My young family and I are staying in Perth only for 20 nights.

Edith Owusu

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Advice for a Cyprus wedding

Q. We are about to pay £3,000 for a one-week all inclusive holiday in Cyprus for a family wedding. We are worried that with all the banking issues that we might pay five-star and get two-star because staff, suppliers and even the hotel have not been paid. Can you advise?

Claire Binmore

Latvia: More than 200 people accidentally drifted out to sea, trapped on huge floating slabs of ice

More than 220 Latvians rescued after drifting to sea on ice floes

Helicopters and Navy ships rescued 220 Latvians who drifted to sea today, trapped on huge floating slabs of ice.

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Chasing April sunshine on a budget

Q. My girlfriend and I are looking to go away in the second week of April for a week. We're on a budget, looking for sun, preferably half board or all inclusive. Any suggestions?

Marc Doman

Exmouth beach

Don't come on in... the water's terrible: major reduction in number of recommended beaches

A dip in the sea will be the last thing on many people’s minds this Easter – but that may be for the best on some parts of the coast, with the quality of seawater dramatically worsening at famous British bathing spots because of last year’s heavy summer rainfall.

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Will we have any problems on our Cyprus trip?

Q. We are going to Cyprus on 14 April. Do you think we will have any problems?

Lesley-Jane Smith

Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
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Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
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David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
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From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey outside Mo Nabbach’s M&M Hair Academy in west London before the haircut
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
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Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
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Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
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Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

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Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

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The pain of IVF

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