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

The GBR1 bobsleigh crew of John Jackson, Bruce Tasker, Stu Benson and Craig Pickering take a bend during a training run at La Plagne, France

Winter Olympics: Bobsleigh is no sideshow for Craig Pickering

Former Olympic sprinter Craig Pickering has turned his back on track athletics to go for British gold at the Sochi Winter Games next February. He explains all to Phil Medlicott

Having more than one, or maybe two, children is frowned upon in China

The relaxation of China's One Child Policy is necessary, and long overdue

Today, having too few people of working age threatens to impede growth

A snowboarder flies through the center ring of the Olympic Rings, triggering an explosion of snow and ice off the rings during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

Stockholm and Beijing among six bidders to host 2022 winter Olympics

Almaty, Krakow, Lviv and Oslo are the others hoping to stage the games

Rebecca Adlington will be a bridesmaid at Payne's wedding

Swimming: Keri-Anne Payne and Lizzie Simmonds miss out in funding cuts

The legacy of Britain's disappointing performance in the pool at London 2012 has finally hit home. After suffering a £4m cut in funding, having picked up only three medals last year, British Swimming has announced that the former world champion Keri-Anne Payne and two-time European gold medallist Lizzie Simmonds are among those to have lost their personal funding for 2014.

A US Marine and members of the Philippine Armed Forces help displaced civilians

Scant relief: China has pledged only £125,000 to help the Philippines recover from Super Typhoon Haiyan

Richard Hall examines the reasons for the world's second-largest economy's woeful aid donation

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu stalls on calls to aid Palestinian suicide bombings victims' families as they sue Bank of China

Lawyers want leader to grant permission for former agent to testify

Laura Trott has made clear the 'no-go' areas in terms of image since sporting achievement raised her public profile

Comment: Laura Trott is right not to compromise her principles by posing for lads’ mags – but Victoria Pendleton has every right to take another course

If an athlete feels compelled to take her clothes off for a sponsor, that is indefensible

Shanghai smog: Air pollution covers city

Air pollution hits severe levels as residents told to avoid outdoor activities

Commuters brave the pollution in Huai'an, Jiangsu province, China

China's CCTV culture suffers as record high pollution and smog levels render country's 20 million surveillance cameras effectively useless

Experts claim that in many Chinese cities, pollution particles are so dense and compressed that they block light almost as effectively as a brick wall

China: One dead and eight injured in explosions outside Communist party's headquarters in Taiyun

Eyewitness describes seeing smoke and flames emerging from a minivan while social media reports said small steel ball bearings scattered the scene of the blast

A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'

What does North Korea's first and only tablet have to offer?

Internet use in North Korea might be a rare luxury but that hasn't stopped the pariah state from developing its very own version of the iPad. And according to Austrian academic Ruediger Frank – a frequent visitor – the Samjiyon tablet isn't half bad.

Beijing wheelchair-bound airport bomber jailed for six years

Ji Zhongxing has been jailed after trying to highlight complaints against police by detonating a bomb in a Beijing airport

George Osborne moves to thaw diplomatic freeze with China

The Government attempted to draw a line under the freeze in diplomatic relations with China today as George Osborne said Britain is determined to move on from the row.

China plan to ban HIV patients from public baths comes under attack

UN urges Chinese government to scrap the proposal

'Come to England and date Harry Potter': Boris Johnson pitches London to Chinese students

"No limit" to the number of Chinese allowed to study in the UK, George Osborne announces in same speech

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent