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.

If it's January, it must be Kerala, if it's October, then it's Mozambique

Are you still deciding where to take your holiday in 1999? Travel journalist of the year Jill Crawshaw gives a run-down of destinations to suit all tastes and suggests the best time to visit...

The Twelve Puzzles of Christmas

The Twelve Puzzles of Christmas. Puzzles marked * are for younger children. Puzzles marked with ** are for older children. Unmarked puzzles are toughies!

Food & Drink: Organ recital

Busting a gut to find the perfect way to celebrate a big birthday

Former atom bomb test site becomes camel reserve

BEATING swords into ploughshares is old hat, it seems. This week there is to be an international treaty to give up atomic weapons for camels.

In the Sticks: Abortion is more than just saying goodbye to a bean

WHAT I haven't mentioned amid the dangers of oversexed Jerseys and chook population explosions is the one thing that has been totally dominating our lives for a month: our own possible population explosion.

Zoological Notes: The silent red threat of the black widow

THE BLACK widow spider is famous for its most mysterious trait: its bite is toxic enough to kill animals thousands of times its own size. Including, occasionally, a human being.

Fast Track: How to make the most of a year out

It used to be de rigueur to bum around for 12 months before going to university. Not any more. By Claire Walker

LITERALLY LOST: 49

Competition

Books of the week

The Lost Camels of Tartary (Little, Brown and Co, pounds 18.99), by John Hare.

Racing: Silver Charm on top of the world

SILVER CHARM, the 9-10 favourite, showed courage and tenacity of the highest order to beat Swain by the width of a camel's whisker in the third running of the $4 million Dubai World Cup, the world's richest horserace, at Nad El Sheba last night.

The land the map forgot

Ramadan ended this week, but in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania fasting seems to be almost second-nature - as Stephen Wells found out, when he was stuck in the Sahara with a tin of sardines.

Making an ass of Aesop's moral maze

We think of `Aesop's Fables' as gentle little moral tales for children. But what about `The Camel who Shat in the River' and `The Beaver who Bit off his Private Parts'? These are not the Fables we grew up with. As David Lister explains, these are what the man actually wrote. A new book will show history's most famous fable maker to have a coarse and violent kink.

TRAVEL SPECIAL: THE SEA OF SAND

The Namib Desert is Earth's own lunar landscape, a fragile environment of rare wildlife and bizarre beauty

Racing: Once in Royal David's betting shop...

Honest Claus peered through the two-way mirror between his plush, leathered office and the bustling interior of the betting shop and allowed a wave of smugness to wash over his white-bearded face.

Carlos plays the last of the great revolutionaries

It was a polished performance, even a cheeky one. Carlos enjoyed his day in court (the first of many). But anyone who was a student in the 1970s knew instantly who Ilich Ramirez Sanchez was; or at least who he was pretending to be. He was the upper middle-class boy, who dressed and conversed in the urbane, bourgeois manner, but spoke in fluently earnest Marxist jargon.
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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
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'