News

Italian luxury notebook maker Moleskine has picked Canary Wharf and Covent Garden for its first standalone UK stores.

Li Na is the oldest ever female Australian Open champion

Australian Open 2014: Li Na’s bold switch pays off with oldest triumph

Li Na is the oldest ever female Australian Open champion

The building on Pioneer Ave. that houses Sophidea, the company that received a deluge of Chinese Internet traffic Tuesday

Internet surfers end up in Cheyenne, Wyoming after Chinese censors hit wrong key

'If you monkey with a system that’s supposed to provide global connectivity, it’s very easy to make mistakes'

Xu Zhiyong is charged with ‘gathering a crowd to disturb order’, and could face five years in prison

Xu Zhiyong trial: Chinese activist and lawyer make ‘silent protest’ in court

Mr Xu is charged with 'gathering a crowd to disturb public order', punishable by up to five years in prison

The offices of the Guardian newspaper in central London

Guardian website blocked in China after it ran a story on the wealth of its rulers' families

China has blocked the websites of The Guardian and other media organisations which published stories about the offshore holdings of relatives of the country’s leading figures.

Credit clampdown puts the brakes on Chinese economy

China’s economy last year registered flat growth of 7.7 per cent, maintaining its slowest expansion in more than a decade

China's economic reforms have a long way to go

As you were, apparently. China’s growth in 2013 was precisely the same as 2012, at 7.7 per cent.

Cui Jian, whose popularity continues to make China’s authorities uneasy

China’s rock rebel Cui Jian gets the Party startled

The artist whose song became a Tiananmen Square anthem falls foul of state sensitivities

China's capital was shrouded in thick smog on 16 January, cutting visibility down to a few hundred yards as a count of small particulate pollution reached more than 20 times WHO-recommended levels

Beijing issues smog warning as scientists say pollution ‘cuts life expectancy by 15 years’

Experts say air pollution levels are 20 times higher than maximum recommended by World Health Organisation

China confirms hypersonic nuclear missile carrier flight test

China has accused US media of using the opportunity to 'hype' China threat

Vibrant Guangzhou

5 ways to... enjoy an exotic stopover on the way to Australia

Adjust your body clock and explore an exciting city en route, says Simon Calder

China is cloning pigs on 'an industrial scale'

Beijing Genomics Institute is producing 500 cloned pigs per year

China sets thousands of prisoners free as labour camps close

China had promised to close it's "re-education" camps in 2007

Chinese inflation hits 7-month low in December

Chinese inflation fell to its lowest level in seven months in December, catching analysts off-guard and easing fears a new squeeze in monetary policy in the world’s second-largest economy.

File picture taken on April 11, 2013, as officials test poultry at the border with mainland China in Hong Kong

North American bird flu death: Canada reports first fatal case of H5N1 virus hitting continent

Authorities say the victim had only travelled to Beijing and had not visited any farms or poultry markets

Even though he’s not been to see Rodman once during his latest visit to North Korea, where he’s been given the dubious task of running the national basketball team.

Dennis Rodman sings 'Happy Birthday' for BFF Kim Jong-Un as North Korea beats US NBA All-stars team in 'friendly' match

Rodman delivered the gift of song alongside the leader's other treat: watching North Korea predictably beat a retired team of NBA players during a ‘friendly’

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there