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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 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power