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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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The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
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peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
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Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
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The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
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One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
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Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
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Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
musicReview: 1989's songs attempt to encapsulate dramatic emotional change in a few striking lines
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Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker