New Articles

Here are the answers to this week's quiz...

'Dear Leader' sips cognac as nation starves

Hard information about North Korea is hard to come by, but in the last few weeks one thing has become increasingly certain: after two years of floods and economic stagnation, the country is on the verge of famine. An American congressman who visited this month saw peasants living off hot water and last year's cabbage leaves.

A great day dawned with brandy, but ended a wake

Nobody could have foreseen this: the one day of the year where sport permeates every household in Britain being so catastrophically disrupted by terrorist action. From schoolchildren with their love of horses, to office "sweeps", to housewives sticking a pin into the racing pages, the Grand National exerts a hold on our popular consciousness like no other event. The question everyone will now be asking is, can it ever be the same again?

Travel: True or false: The brandy barrel carried by St Bernards in the Alps is a myth

True, according to the monks who still keep a 900-year-old hospice running at the top of the 8,114-ft pass of the Col de Grand St-Bernard.

Gascony

This tranquil pocket of French countryside is a haven for jangled nerves.

Dance: A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol, Northern Ballet Theatre, Grand Theatre, Leeds (0113 245 9351) 7 Dec, 2.30pm & 7.30pm, pounds 6-pounds 23, concessions availab le

Challenger for Hennessy

The Murphy's Gold Cup and Hennessy Gold Cup double could be on the cards for Challenger Du Luc, who heads the betting for Saturday's race along with Big Matt.

BEVERAGE REPORT: THIS ROUND'S NOT ON ME

This is a message from your bank manager - if you're a fan of very old spirits, and you find yourself in the vicinity of Dukes Hotel, be careful. Dukes, London's most discreet five-star hotel, has a rather sumptuous list of ancient Cognac, Armagnac, single-malt and vintage port. And it also sells them at stupifyingly sumptuous prices.

The Knack: How to tell a joke

Keep it short and don't attempt accents, says Jenny Eclair

Letter: Political spice

Sir: Norma Major a saucy Worcester Woman? ("Cookie war", 11 September.) Quick! Hand me a large Cherie brandy before I collapse!

Davies stays in touch

Laura Davies needed 50 minutes less to trim six shots off her opening effort in the second round of the US Women's Open Championship here yesterday.

The end of life as I know it

A HOLE has opened up in my life. Do you want to hear about it? So you shall. It's a deep yawning hole. A deep yawning black hole. What you'd call a pit of melancholy, a chasm of accidie, a gulf of gloom. Do you begin to get the picture of this hole? Good.

Oh crumbs!

Food

Letter: Under the influence of brandy

IN ORDER to be able to celebrate the Millennium, some time ago I reserved a bottle of 10-year-old cider brandy for release on 1 January, 2000. I do not intend to be deprived of this anticipated pleasure by Scotch would-be monopolists ("Ciderman raises fighting spirit", 3 December).

Solo yachtswoman sails to record

IAN MacKINNON

Urgent fax to Daniel Day-Lewis

To the actor reported to have ended his long-standing relationship by fax: a lesson in how to let a lady down politely
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
Arts and Entertainment
Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
music
News
i100
News
Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
news
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
music
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Career Services

Day In a Page

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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'