News Getting the hump: camels do battle in front of tens of thousands of spectators

On Sunday, more than 20,000 people will gather in Turkey to watch camels do battle in a spectacle that dates back thousands of years. It is, depending on your attachment to the ungainly beasts, a historic cultural institution to be celebrated – or a throwback to an era before animal-rights campaigns when it was OK to starve an animal for three months to make it cross.

Australia gets the hump – and reaches for the gun to settle its camel question

Brought to the country as beasts of burden in 1840, today there are one million camels eating the outback

Simon Carr: There's a lot in peasant wisdom

We've detached ourselves from our real lives to live a subjunctive world

A new journey of exploration for Michael Palin

As the Royal Geographical Society's new head, Michael Palin is a man with the world in his hands. He tells Michael McCarthy of his passion for the spirit of Shackleton

Anthony Rose: The upturn in English wine's fortunes is due to growing professionalism and a change in grape varieties

It's a fair bet that when Barack Obama sipped the 1998 Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs served on his recent visit to Britain, compliments will have been duly showered on his host like confetti. It's an open secret that despite the stigma that sill attaches to English wine, England can more than hold its head high in the sparkling wine stakes. With more than 100 awards doled out this year in the UK's consumer wine competitions, English wines, sparkling wines in particular, have harvested a bumper crop. All but one of several gold medals went to English fizz, among them the 2005 Camel Valley White Pinot from Bodmin in Cornwall, Nyetimber's 1992 Blanc de Blancs 1992 from East Sussex and the 2005 Hush Heath Balfour Brut Rosé from the Weald of Kent.

Last Night's Television: Raising the temperature

The Hottest Place on Earth, BBC1<br />Red Riding, Channel 4

Dubai Festival of Literature: Censorship, women writers...and camels

At the first Dubai Festival of Literature last weekend, disparate writers gathered from all over the world.

My Life In Travel: Toby Anstis, DJ

'It's good for the soul to experience new places and cultures'

The ride of a lifetime: 20 unforgettable ways to see the world

Want to travel in style? Then forget planes and automobiles, and try bikes, elephants and airships instead. In this special issue, we present 20 unforgettable ways to see the world from a new perspective

Eat a camel and save the planet, Australians are told

Not only is the meat low in fat, eating it could help to protect the fragile outback, in danger of being over-run by dromedaries

Lives Remembered: Ray Sturtivant

Ray Sturtivant, who died on 9 August aged 82, was a distinguished civil servant, but he will be best remembered for his prolific and meticulous work on RAF and Fleet Air Arm military aviation history. He published 27 books on the subject.

Presenting the most glamorous goat in all Arabia

Contestants in the Gulf's most hotly contested beauty pageant turn heads with their shaggy coats and unnerving eyes

The Complete Guide To: Rajasthan, India

A world of colour, splendour and spectacle awaits visitors to India's largest and most romantic state. Rhiannon Batten on a land of camels and cultural riches

Pandora: Malik's final hustle

Hooray, a hat-trick! In the sporting world's most predictable result since Frank Bruno's 1996 obliteration at the hands of "Iron" Mike Tyson, Shahid Malik, the dishy International Development minister, has chalked up a third consecutive victory in the annual pool shoot-out in Annie's Bar at the Commons.

China: a difficult place to travel, a glorious country to explore

Moving around this vast land has always been a hassle, yet the experience is incomparable, says food writer Fuchsia Dunlop. And she can't resist going back for more

Small Talk: Probability bets on crazy camels after gamblers get the hump with US laws

Probability has not had the easiest of starts to its life on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), hit by the fallout of US legislation just a week after listing. But with a business model backed by the market and rising revenues, the mobile phone gambling specialist is preparing for one of the industry's showpiece events this week with confidence. A year and a bit on from its listing, Probability is gearing up for its second International Casino Exhibition (ICE) in Earls Court.

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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

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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?