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



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.


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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Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Antoine Griezmann has started two of France’s four games so far
Life and Style
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Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
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Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
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Arts and Entertainment
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
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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
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor