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: When your plane's stuck on the Tarmac

Q. During the weekend's snow, my wife and daughter were sitting on a plane at Belfast for over three hours heading to Scotland. Did they have any rights to food or water?

David Lofthouse

Cotswold Outdoor's new range includes the roomy Gelert Sleeping Pod (£45), and the BioLite wood-burning camping stove (£150), which can charge USB-friendly devices (cotswoldoutdoor.com).

Former tennis star Jennifer Capriati charged after allegedly punching her ex-boyfriend Ivan Brannan

Former tennis star Jennifer Capriati has been charged after police said she punched her ex-boyfriend on Valentine's Day while he was working out at a gym.

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Don't cancel your Cyprus holiday

Q. I have booked a family holiday for a two-week trip to Cyprus this August. We've only paid a small deposit so far. Given the economic crisis do you think it prudent to cancel now rather than risk thousands on a holiday which is now at risk?

Peter Gross

Hidden cameras capture drunken revellers repeatedly 'beating up' seals, forcing San Diego to close its beaches at night

Footage showed people repeatedly kicking, punching and sitting on top of adult seals and their pups

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: The allure of the Istrian peninsula in the far north-west

Q. I am working in Croatia in early May. Then I have two weeks off. I'd like to stay in the region - but I feel I have already seen everything in Croatia. So I am thinking: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belgrade in Serbia, going into Romania and flying out of Bucharest. Any must-sees in this area, and also best mode of transport?

Brad Allemand

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: EU Passengers' Rights

Q. Thank you for your advice on EU flight cancellation compensation. I have made a successful claim from Flybe. I have been offered the required €250 payment in cash, but I have been offered €300 as a credit for future travel from Flybe. Which is best?

David Brennan, Ayrshire

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Not so clever? Is this hotels site too good to be true?

Q. I've been checking prices for hotels in the USA on a comparison website and there are some really good deals with Clever-hotels.com. But are they too good to be true?

Joanne Hill

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Poor compensation for 24-hour delay

Q. Our Delta flight from Bloomington, USA to Manchester was cancelled after waiting at the airport for seven hours, due to "technical reasons". We were rebooked and flew the next day, in effect 24 hours later. The only compensation KLM - which handles Delta customer services in UK - has offered is a £300 voucher (£100 per passenger) valid for 12 months.

It appears that as the flight was from a non EU airport, the carrier was a non EU carrier, and it was technical reasons for cancellation and not overbooking, the airline is under no obligation to compensate me. Is this correct? It seems scandalous that non EU airlines have this "get out of jail free" card, tough luck to the passenger. Do I have any other avenues to pursue this further?

"JK"

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Is it safe to holiday in Marrakech?

Q. Is it safe to holiday in Marrakech at the moment? We were thinking of going early in April.

Al Bye, Southend

Get me out of here - Champagne, Vietnam, Holland

Now... On 23 March, there's a spring break in Champagne for £495pp. The two-night trip to this celebrated grape-growing region, with wine specialist Arblaster & Clarke, includes ferry crossing, accommodation in Reims, transfers, tastings and cellar visits. winetours.co.uk

Stressed? You bet I was. Shark wrestler Paul Marshallsea, hailed as a hero, is sacked because he was on sick leave

62-year-old apparently risked his life grabbing a six foot shark's tail as it approached the children

Interiors insider: Sophie Gaze of Andara

Sophie Gaze read Structured Textile Design at Leeds University before working for a leading furniture and home accessories store.

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Is Thomas Cook in good health?

Q. I am due to pay the balance of just over £3,000 for a holiday in Crete with Thomas Cook. It will be paid with a debit card. What you think of the security of this travel company?

Bill Rogers

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Help me plan a first-time visit to Japan

Q. I am planning a first trip to Japan, and wondered where to stay in Tokyo - and which other places to visit?

Name Withheld

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Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
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A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
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fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
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Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
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Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
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Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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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
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
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
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
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site