Sport Lizzy Yarnold is among the brightest hopes for Team GB in Sochi

A minimum target of three medals has been set - with as many as seven a possibility

Winter Olympics 2014: Norway curling team unveils much-awaited outfits for Sochi

Even their own coach says he would only wear them at ‘a bad-taste party’

Snow forecast is looking good for Sochi

Ski news: Snow forecast is looking good for Sochi

The number of Brits planning to go to Sochi in Russia for the Winter Olympics in three weeks' time will be minimal. Apart from the usual Russian visa requirements, flights are limited, a special "spectator pass" is required in a bid to combat security threats and prices for accommodation and the top events are very expensive.

Flying the flag: revellers at SkiOUT, part of WinterPRIDE on the Whistler slopes

Gay Ski Weeks: A ski sector that is in the pink

Anna Lawlor reports on how resorts are reaching out to a booming market

An original slide from the movie 'Casablanca' inside The Patricia in Powell River, British Columbia

In pictures: Showing the classics since 1913 - British Columbia's Patricia Cinema

The Patricia cinema was founded in 1913 and entertained customers with silent movies, vaudeville shows and even local boxing matches. The venue has been running continuously since it opened, and still hosts a wide variety of entertainment, from cinema to concerts and vaudeville.

Vancouver bans doorknobs - in pursuit of 'universal design'

City law now says all new construction projects must include lever-handled doors

Hut stuff: Eagle Brae’s cabins have turf roofs, helping the interiors stay cosy

Stay the Night: Eagle Brae, Inverness-shire

These pioneer-style homes have brought North American luxury to the Scottish wilderness, says Anna Norman

David Murdoch will lead Team GB's curling team in the Winter Olympics

Curling: David Murdoch to lead Team GB in Sochi

Scotland's David Murdoch has been selected to skip the Great Britain rink at the Winter Olympics in Sochi next February.

Cougar attacks are on the rise in North America

British Columbia man saves partner from cougar attack - armed only with a spear

Victim has undergone surgery and is expected to recover following terrifying attack by the mountain lion

Cory Monteith at the GQ Men of the Year Party, 2012

Cory Monteith death: Glee star's father 'saddened' to have missed cremation service

The late actor's father claims he wasn't invited to the service on Tuesday

Elise Christie is the best in the world at her signature event, the 1,000 metres

Elise Christie: Speed Skating queen has world at her feet

At 5ft 3in, she too frail to be a speed skater. Yet she’s the one to beat in World Championships  – and she likes it that way

An oil refinery in Alberta separates the crude from tar sands

730-mile crude oil pipeline threatens land under control of Canada's First Nation population

Of all the Idle No More protests that sprung up on Wednesday's national day of action across Canada, what may have worried the conservative government of Stephen Harper the most was a gathering of aboriginal young men banging tribal drums outside a hotel in downtown Vancouver.

Go west: fresh tracks on Mount Washington

Ski Canada’s western limit

Vancouver Island in British Columbia has a mighty mountain at its heart. By Minty Clinch

7.7 magnitude earthquake triggers tsunami alert in Hawaii

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck off the west coast of Canada over the weekend, prompting a tsunami warning for Hawaii that sent at least 100,000 people fleeing from shore to higher ground. The evacuation order was later cancelled.

Legendary lyricist: Leonard Cohen

Disappointment as Leonard Cohen swaps concert from Paddock Wood's hop farm venue to Wembley Arena

Music fans have been told that two UK concerts by singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen have been switched to a different venue about 75 miles away.

Canadian Affair's £4,925 trip to Vancouver includes a whale-watching trip

Travel Challenge: Active break in Canada

Each week, we invite three companies to offer us their best deal for a specific holiday. Today: a 10-day active family adventure in Canada. Prices for a family of two adults and two children travelling together. Each package includes accommodation, flights from the UK departing on Saturday 21 July and car hire.

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Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam