Voices

Meeting him was to connect to the golden line of British scholar-traveller-adventurers from Patrick Leigh Fermor to Gavin Young

Why animal charity matters: Helping livestock victims of natural disasters helps people too

Despite possible appearances some animal charities have got their priorities right

Jacob Ostreicher, right, with Sean Penn last year

Sean Penn rescues American businessman Jacob Ostreicher from violent Bolivian jail

The actor released a statement to confirm he was with a New York  businessman who had been spirited out of Bolivia after spending over two years in captivity for crimes he claims he did not commit

Diplomatic war erupts after Bolivian senator flees to Brazil

Officials in La Paz launch inquiry as dissident leaves country with the aid of Brazilian embassy

Edward Snowden at a meeting with human rights campaigners at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport today

Edward Snowden 'yet to seek' Russia asylum as NSA whistleblower emerges from hiding

Fugitive from US intelligence services emerges from hiding at Moscow airport and says he wants to be allowed to fly to Latin America

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden: 'US will say I aided our enemies,' says NSA whistleblower in newly released video interview

Edward Snowden, the 30-year-old wanted by American authorities for leaking information about classified US surveillance programs, predicted he would be seen in violation of the Espionage Act and that the “US government will say I aided our enemies”.

Edward Snowden

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden offered asylum by Venezuela, Nicaragua and now Bolivia

WikiLeaks says Snowden has applied to six new countries in his quest for asylum, bringing the total approached worldwide up to 27

Bolivia President Evo Morales delivers a speech upon his arrival in La Paz, Bolivia, after an enforced stopover in Austria

South American nations to hold summit over grounding of Bolivian president Evo Morales' plane, as France apologises

The 12-nation Unasur bloc meeting as regional leaders express anger over incident

President Morales boards his plane in Vienna

Bolivia says European nations ‘kidnapped’ Evo Morales in hunt for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden

Grounding President’s plane was an ‘act of aggression’ that will result in complaint to UN

Lionel Messi pictured during the match with Bolivia

Bolivia: Andes glaciers are melting fast

Glaciers in the Andes have shrunk by up to 50 per cent since the 1970s, and some could disappear altogether, a study warns.

Crowds rally for Hugo Chavez's unofficial swearing-in

Thousands of supporters of Hugo Chavez rallied outside his presidential palace in Caracas today in an alternative inauguration for a leader too ill to return home for the real thing.

Portfolio: George Steinmetz

A third of the Earth's land surface is classified as desert, from the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica to the North African Sahara – and it is a subject that represents a life's passion for landscape photographer George Steinmetz. Inspired by a hitchhiking trip across North Africa in the 1970s, the American aerial artist has spent the past 15 years documenting deserts from above.

Hark to Mexico's new name: Mexico

Mexican President Felipe Calderon is clearly a fan of lexical clarity – last week, he put a motion to congress to change his country's name from the United Mexican States to, simply, Mexico. It would put Mexicans in a select group of countries without the need to point out that they're an Independent Democratic Republic of Whatever (well done, Canada, Malaysia, Georgia and others).

The Bak'tun Route has launched in Guatemala, visiting 11 ancient cities associated with the Mayan calendar, which ominously ends on 21 December 2012

Spanish Londoner wins Taylor Wessing prize for portrait of reluctant Bolivian woman

Jordi Ruiz Cirera, 28, has won the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2012 for his photograph of Bolivian woman who (only reluctantly) agreed to have her portrait taken. 

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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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