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.

Rock: Stones and the art of mutual satisfaction

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For camel trekking, try Somerset

Surreal? Certainly. But if you've got the hump with horse riding, why not go west aboard a charming, stately creature, asks Rupert Isaacson

Farmer's daughter brings new approach to sport of Sheikhs

The sight of 20 hump-backed and ungainly beasts clumping through the heat and dust of the Dubai desert is unlikely to induce the next great scramble for exclusive rights to pay-as-you view television coverage.

This week has been a ...

Good Week for camel racing, as more than 30,000 spectators turned up at a Berlin horse-race track to see the first camel race in northern Europe. "It's a shame we can't place any bets." said one man. "The camels would be ideal for bets because you never know what they are going to do in the middle of the race." Two camels sat down on the track for 15 minutes in mid-race; another stopped two metres from the finishing line.

Fashion: Dogs on the catwalk

How much is that doggy in the window, the one with the blue sequinned frock costing 80 quid? Charlotte Eagar on haute couture for hounds - it makes one simply howl. Styling by Holly Davies. Photographs by Jonathan Root

Stroke tarantulas, pat a python...

Days out: Marwell is a hands-on zoo. By Emma Haughton

Travel: LIVING IN HARMONY

Oman was catapulted into the 20th century less than 40 years ago. The result is gentle social progress and a landscape of rare unsullied beauty

In the wheel world

Nicola Swanborough gets a chain reaction to the Camel Trail between Bodmin and Padstow

Racing: Thoroughbreds shaded by clouds and camels

When you see a lake in the desert it can generally be written off as a mirage, but there was nothing ethereal about the huge puddles around the Nad Al Sheba race-track here yesterday morning. The previous evening's call to prayer had also summoned up a thunderstorm of biblical proportions which raged throughout the night, depositing so much water on this normally bone-dry city that some started to question whether Saturday's Dubai World Cup might succumb to the elements.

Why don't you grow up?

There's nothing so sad as an Old Lad. Paul Quarry decides it's time to sample the pleasures of the more mature lifestyle

girls will be boys

In the new unisex stores and on the street, what's his is hers. Shw wea rs desert boots, flat-front trousers and boys' school shirts.

Camel safaris, canoes and chameleons

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A good year for ...

A final set of records for 1996

Led by wise men

John Eisenhammer treks through the stark beauty of the Sahara
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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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform