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.

Motorcycling: Second for Rossi as Tamada saves face for Honda

Valentino Rossi was content to settle for second place in the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi after moving a step closer to his fourth consecutive world championship.

Album: Pram

Dark Island, Domino

Column One: Malaysia bursts with pride over heaviest tapioca

FOR ALL its novelty value, a man who spent two days sitting in a chair dressed as Father Christmas would not, in most countries, be regarded as a national hero. In many cultures, collectors of large numbers of toy camels, bow ties or paper bags would be regarded with as much pity as admiration.

Look out - she's behind you!

Playing a pantomime horse is no laughing matter. (Oh no it isn't!) For a start, it takes two performers. Julia Stuart made her stage debut - playing Clapton's rear end

Words: camel, n.

IS THE new Oxford Dictionary of Quotations right to credit Alex Issigonis with the phrase "a camel is a horse designed by a commitee"? One had assumed it current before he found fame with his idiosyncratic motor-car, the Mini.

There's only one thing that men want from women. And that's everything

Men leaving, men lying, men bashing - truly my sex could do with the services of a good PR company right now. It can only get worse over the next few weeks too, given the way parties affect us. We are too easily destabilised, that's our trouble, too excited by company and wine, and too responsive to the primitive magic of dates and anniversaries. What man can keep the peace either side of a turning year? Or keep his word, or keep his counsel, or keep the faith, or keep any part of himself where it should be?

Sudan: The Book That Inspired Me - `in Search Of The Forty Days Road' By Michael ASHER

IN 1987, five days after getting married, Kate and I flew to Sudan to begin work as English teachers in the small desert township of Babanusa. Bored with England and disillusioned with Thatcherism, we had answered an advertisement which stated that "enthusiasm is more important than experience". An interview at the Sudanese Embassy, with talk of the harsh climate, the lack of alcohol and the monotonous diet, had only increased our excitement. Our honeymoon was going to be the biggest adventure of our lives.

Theatre: The greatest story ever told

It made theatre history - and now it's back. Stephen Fay goes behind the scenes of `The Mysteries'

Travel: A hard sell in the desert

A round-up of what's happening around the world this month

Football: Howler adds to Wilson torment

Sheffield Wednesday 0 Everton 2

Edinbourgh Festival '99: Reviews - Pick of the Day

IF YOU GO TO SEE ANYTHING TODAY, THEN CHOOSE FROM ONE OF THESE FIVE MUST-SEE SHOWS

Travel: My journey with the Bedouin

Shena Guild survives a bumpy ride on a camel as she treks into the Syrian desert and samples the life of a nomad
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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
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General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night