Derek Pain: Watch out, 2014 may finally be the year for my portfolio

There seems to be an overwhelming belief that the stock market is set for another good year. I hope the optimists are right and must admit that I am on their side. But, perhaps it would be foolish to completely overlook that such a chorus of positivity is no guarantee of fulfilment.

Best intentions: British tourists who sign up to work with children in Cambodia might not be helping

Something To Declare: Why it’s vital that volunteering is done in the right way

Top of the list for many well-meaning travellers who wish to volunteer during their time away is to help children in orphanages in developing countries. What better feel-good and mutually beneficial form of travel could there be?

Hiroshi Yamauchi: Computing pioneer who turned Nintendo into a global gaming giant

He bought the Seattle Mariners without seeing them play and knowing nothing about baseball

Hotel hero: Concierges need a bulging contacts book and the ability to make outlandish demands happen

Something To Declare: For top travel tips, nothing beats a charming concierge

Often underused, occasionally outrageously overused – a concierge can be the secret to a special escape.

In the international arena, Wilfred Rhodes loved nothing more than taking on the Australians. The slow left armer, who made his debut in WG Grace's last Test, took an astounding 7 wickets for 17 off 11 overs at Lords in 1902, as the Australians were skittled for 36.

Ashes 2013: From Jim Laker to Shane Warne - the greatest ever bowling performances

We select XI of the finest displays from the spinners, fast bowlers and all those in between

An American flag blows in the wind at sunrise atop the rubble of a destroyed home

Oklahoma tornado: The storm was a monster - even for Tornado Alley

Residents of Moore are used to severe weather patterns – but the strength of Monday’s twister left them shocked and awed

Was Justin Bieber's ‘worst birthday’ really so terrible?

It can be tricky to remember that Justin Bieber is a real human being.

Mother hires strippers for 16-year-old son's birthday, faces jail

Fans of MTV's My Super Sweet 16 are used to tales of outrageous parties being thrown for American teens, but a New York mother has taken the outrage up a gear (and to the attention of the NYPD) by hiring strippers for her 16-year-old son's birthday.

180mph M6 gang leader getaway driver Ben Westwood jailed

Five men responsible for a six-month crime spree which culminated in a high-speed police chase were jailed today as a judge branded their getaway driver's 180mph attempt to evade capture as “atrocious”.

David and Jackie Siegel at their home in Florida

A broken American dream recorded in full colour (lawsuit attached, of course)

David Siegel was living the American dream. A self-made billionaire, married to a former model 31 years his junior, he travelled in private jets and lunched on caviar. Evenings found him at Florida's society events, quaffing champagne with celebrities, sports stars, beauty queens.

Gethin Jenkinsis one of those with Grand Slam experience

Wales to call on Grand Slam winners' experience ahead of France showdown

Wales will tap into the experience of their previous Grand Slam winners this week as they prepare for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations showdown against France.

Locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson

I'm inviting the court to cross the Rubicon, says right-to-die judge

Britain's murder laws could be radically reinterpreted if a severely disabled man succeeds in his legal battle to allow a doctor to kill him without the risk of prosecution.

'Am I glad that the doctor saved my life? No I'm not'

High Court victory for man with 'locked-in syndrome' fighting for the right to die

David Flatman: French flair is just a fluke – give me the scrummaging

From the Front Row: Many Top 14 games are horrid to watch - unless you are a prop forward

Porter backed as 'inspirational' despite anthem row

The chances are that Tiffany Porter will be on the rostrum for the 60m hurdles medal ceremony in the Atakoy Athletics Arena today. Unless Australia's Sally Pearson false-starts or crashes into a barrier, however, the British team captain is unlikely to be singing the national anthem.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links