Travel

Springtime, just before the new century began. As Laos is now the new Cambodia, Vietnam was then the new Thailand, and my girlfriend and I had arrived – with our backpacks – to see what all the fuss was about. The capital Hanoi had dazzled, and we were due to take the train 420 miles down the coast to Hué. We were late, though. We were always late.

Mr Lebedev is charged with hooliganism motivated by political hatred

Key witness against Lebedev 'can't testify'

Lawyers for the key witness in the case against Alexander Lebedev, the Russian businessman and financial backer of The Independent, have said he is unable to return to Russia to testify.

Cambodian officers search the wreckage after the factory collapse

New fears over safety standards as two workers die in Cambodian factory collapse

Taiwanese-owned factory was making sports shoes Asics

Miracle crop, “jatropha”.

How an eco-pioneer from Torquay launched a miracle crop, risked a fortune, and ended up in a Cambodian prison

Gregg Fryett sold a green miracle to his investors – and now they could lose up to £32m

A still image from the popular French reality show Koh-Lanta, the 16th series of which has been abandoned after a contestant died

Second death at French reality TV show as doctor kills himself

Medic leaves note saying he can't look people in face after contestant's death

The current season of Koh Lanta has been cancelled following the death of Gérald Babin

Second tragedy for French version of Survivor reality show as staff doctor kills himself following death of contestant

A doctor working for France's version of the television reality show Survivor committed suicide yesterday, leaving a note saying he had been unfairly criticised over the death of a contestant, the programme's broadcaster said.

Don't claim Irish ancestry because it's St Patrick's Day, just enjoy it!

No one cares how Irish or how un-Irish you are; we can all still celebrate

Khmer Rouge genocide tribunal thrown into chaos as Ieng Sary, one of the three men standing trial, dies

The Khmer Rouge genocide tribunal was today facing fresh turmoil after it was announced that one of the three men standing trial for war crimes had died in hospital.

Police supply crystal meth to bank robbers

At first, police thought the men holed up in a provincial Cambodian bank were holding hostages. Then it became apparent they were drug addicts. Finally, they concluded that it was all an amateurish inside job to rip off the tills.

Sergei Polonsky was arrested on the island of Koh Dek Kuol

Cambodian sailors 'forced to jump into sea' settle case with Russian tycoon Sergei Polonsky

Crew withdraw their accusations after agreeing £12,500 compensation deal

Russian tycoon could be freed after payment deal

A Russian man detained in Cambodia for allegedly threatening and assaulting local sailors could be released after his lawyers agreed to pay compensation to the victims of the attack.

Sergei Polonsky's construction businesses collapsed in 2008

Russian tycoon faces jail after arrest for threatening Cambodian sailors

A Russian tycoon arrested in Cambodia for threatening local sailors is likely to stay in custody until the end of the month at least, and could face up to three years in jail.

Sergei Polonsky (centre) is led away by Cambodian officials

Russian tycoon ‘forced sailors into sea’ in Cambodia

A controversial Russian property tycoon has been arrested in Cambodia after an incident in which he and friends apparently imprisoned several local sailors and then forced them to jump into the sea at knifepoint.

Supporting small businesses in the developing world

The gift that helps poor businesses overseas

An investment in an entrepreneur living in poverty in the developing world could prove to be the most inspiring gift you give this Christmas.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?