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
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Today's pre-school child costs £35,000, according to Aviva. And that's but the tip of an iceberg, says DJ Taylor
Fifa corruption: The officials are caught in the web of US legal imperialism - where double standards don't get in the way

Caught in the web of legal imperialism

The Fifa officials ensnared by America's extraterritorial authority are only the latest examples of this fearsome power, says Rupert Cornwell
Bruce Robinson: Creator of Withnail and I on his new book about Jack the Ripper

'Jack the Ripper has accrued a heroic aura. But I'm going after the bastard'

The deaths of London prostitutes are commonly pinned on a toff in a top hat. But Bruce Robinson, creator of Withnail and I, has a new theory about the killer's identity
Simon Stephens interview: The playwright on red-blooded rehearsals, disappointing his children - and why plays are like turtles

Simon Stephens interview

The playwright on red-blooded rehearsals, disappointing his children - and why plays are like turtles
Holidaying with a bike nut: Cycling obsessive Rob Penn convinces his wife to saddle up

Holidaying with a bike nut

Cycling obsessive Rob Penn convinces his wife to saddle up
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef pays homage to South-east Asia's palate-refreshing desserts

Bill Granger's fruity Asian desserts

Our chef's refreshing desserts are a perfect ending to a spicy, soy-rich meal
Fifa presidential election: What is the best way to see off Sepp Blatter and end this farce?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

What is the best way to see off Sepp Blatter and end this farce?
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison