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

Army training may have put tourists at risk on Pembrokeshire beach

A tourist beach outside a popular seaside resort may have been sprayed with machine gun fire during training in which an Army ranger was shot dead.

British tourists 'released after being kidnapped in Egypt'

Two British tourists have been released after being briefly held by kidnappers in Egypt, reports say.

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Europe, from Scotland, on a budget

Q. I hope to have a family holiday this year with my husband, two sons (aged six and four), along with my 73-year-old mother in law. We are on a tight budget this year and are interested in France/Italy/Spain, however the internet is a mine field! We can drive if it's not too far. Can you recommend anything?

Caroline McDonald, Glasgow

Cuba is a fabulous island, but with some annoying habits to contend with – such as its mad financial system

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Coping with two currencies in Cuba

Q. My daughter is off to Cuba. Her worry is money. If the Cubans don't accept dollars, should she take pounds? And what is the best way of getting cash?

Name withheld

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: In search of a sunny holiday in March

Q. We are seeking the sun in March. Would you recommend Marawila in Sri Lanka, or Sinai in Egypt - or should we look elsewhere? We want a hot climate but we don't want high humidity or high winds.

Hillie MacLaren

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: How a 32-hour Christmas Day can save you money flying to LA

Q. I want to go to Los Angeles over Christmas and New Year but flights are so expensive. When can I bag a good deal?

Peter May, Romford

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: What are Madeira prices like in May?

Q. I am going to Madeira in May and would like to the prices for eating out, and also the cost of drinks.

Karen Eaton

Did Goa's hippy image hinder justice for murdered Scarlett?

The case against the two men accused of killing Scarlett Keeling has ground to a virtual halt, with the handling of the case awash with claims of political interference.

Police in inflatable rubber boats shoot at a shark off Muriwai Beach near Auckland as they attempt to retrieve a body following a fatal attack

Award-winning film-maker Adam Strange killed in shark attack off New Zealand beach

Police fired gunshots at huge predator before it disappeared

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: What are the rules about changing cash for India?

Q. I'm travelling to India next month. Is it true that I should buy my rupees in India, and that I can’t bring them back to the UK?

Susan Persaud

Get me out of here: Cornwall, Corfu, Sardinia

Now... St Mawes Retreats in Cornwall has four new self-catering houses available for week-long stays in March. Prices start at £549 for the Shellseekers cottage, which sleeps four, and rises to £1,800 for Moonrakers, which sleeps 12. Stmawesretreats.co.uk

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: How best to combine Toronto, Detroit and Niagara Falls

Q. I am planning a summer holiday this year with my husband and would love to go to Toronto, see the city and also visit Niagara Falls. We have friends in Detroit so I thought this would be a good opportunity to see them as well. I wondered how best to get ourselves to Detroit from Toronto. We're more than happy to hire a car but will crossing borders cause a huge problem that is best avoided? As we’re on holiday we’d prefer not to sit in airports when we could be seeing the scenery.

Alison Lawton

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Do we have to pay for an Australian visa if we hold British and Irish passports?

Q. We hold British and Irish passports. Do we have to pay for an Australian visa, or can we get them free?

Tracey Kelly, Luton

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: When should I book my Faro flight?

Q. I want to book a flight to Faro in September. Will the price go up every day from now, or could it get cheaper?

Loule Lou, by Twitter

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: What's the best deal for one-way to Oz?

Q. I am planning a one-way trip to Oz from Edinburgh, time and changes no object. Any suggestions? My dad says you're in the know.

@WeeSlice, by Twitter

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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John Moore inspired this Coca Cola Christmas advert
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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Jules and Delaney
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A Rutherford Raiders shirt with the PornHub sponsorship
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Independent Travel
Grandvalira Skiing, Andorra
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples
India & Nepal
All Inclusive Lanzarote
Five-star Sharm El Shiekh Holiday
Prices correct as of 31 October 2014
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes