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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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
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on