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

The Francis is the latest hotel to open in Bath. Set in a string of townhouses, it sports Regency-inspired design with modern flourishes (mgallery.com).mgallery.com).

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What a dish: It all looks great at Hawksworth, Vancouver
Students demonstrate against austerity cuts

How the world fell out of love with Europe

With the eurozone crisis showing no signs of waning, people around the globe are looking to less traditional models, a new poll shows

Jenna Talackova (right) was born male

Pageant expels sex-change finalist

Beach shots depict her as a curvaceous beauty queen. But 23-year-old Jenna Talackova was born male and that has led organisers to disqualify her as a finalist in the 61st Miss Universe Canada pageant.

Whistler, Cajun Country, Bilbao

Now... Canadian Ski

A week-long ski break in Whistler is £969pp, with Air Canada flights from Heathrow to Vancouver via Montreal on 7 March, transfers and a fully catered stay at the Chalet Whistler Mountain House. Skiamericaonline.co.uk

Something to declare: Oyster cards; Vancouver; Australia; pet travel to Europe

Bargain of the week: The Oyster is your world

Raising cost of drink shown to cut abuse and illness

20-year study reveals significant social benefits follow a 10 per cent rise in the price of alcohol

Mounties stage a horseback parade through downtown Vancouver

Who would be a female Mountie?

Canada's police force has been rocked by a spate of allegations of sexual harassment against male officers

Occupy protesters block US ports

More than 1,000 Occupy Wall Street protesters have blocked cargo trucks at some of the West Coast's busiest ports, forcing terminals in Oakland, California, Portland, Oregon, and Washington state to halt operations.

Glaciers in retreat around the world

Millions of people who rely on water from the glaciers of a mountain range in Peru are experiencing what scientists have called "peak water" - the point at which the runoff from the glaciers becomes progressively weaker even though the ice continues to melt.

Ski British Columbia prize draw terms and conditions

1. This prize draw is open to residents of the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland aged 18 years or over, except employees of The Independent, Ski Independence and Tourism British Columbia, their families, agents or anyone else professionally associated with the draw.

The Big Six: Cool campsites

Shale gas set to supply half of America's gas needs within 10 years

Shale gas is energy's "game-changer".

Mounties get their man (and wife) as 'lost' honeymoon couple are found

At nearly one million square kilometers of pristine wilderness and with a burgeoning population of grizzly bears and cougars, the forests and mountains of British Columbia are not a good place to get lost.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine