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
Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Career Services

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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?