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

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.

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

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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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain