Belarus's Victoria Azarenka (L) walks on court during her women's singles match against Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska

Australian Open 2014: Victoria Azarenka becomes latest big name player to crash out in Melbourne

The defending champion was beaten by Agnieszka Radwanska

The heat is on: Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford is alleged to have offered suspected gang members thousands for a video which shows him smoking crack cocaine.

Rob Ford admits he ‘had been drinking’ after he was captured on camera rambling in Jamaican patois in a fast food restaurant

Toronto’s illustrious mayor was captured on camera putting on a bizarre patois monologue for customers at the eatery in the Canadian city

Ana Ivanovic of Serbia reacts to a point to Eugenie Bouchard of Canada during her defeat at the quarter-final stage

Australian Open 2014: Eugenie Bouchard battles back from a set down to knock out Ana Ivanovic - and win even more hearts in Melbourne

The Canadian youngster looked completely at home as she knocked out Serena Williams' conqueror to reach the semi-finals with a 5-7 7-5 6-2 win

Na Li of China is interview on court after winning her quarterfinal match against Flavia Pennetta

Australian Open 2014: Li Na reaches semi-finals with straight-forward victory over Flavia Pennetta

The Chinesewoman's semi-finals opponent will be Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard

Moya Greene in red at the London Stock Exchange in October 2013; Moya Greene's £1.5m earnings were modest compared to those of other FTSE 100 bosses

Royal Mail chief Moya Greene’s payout is another ticking bomb for Vince Cable

Don’t judge me on the Royal Mail float today, said Vince Cable in October. Judge me in three months’ time.

Book review: 'Once We Had A Country' by Robert McGill

In the 1960s and 1970s tens of thousands of Americans slipped across the Canadian border to avoid serving in the Vietnam War. They were often the college-educated sons of middle-class families who could no longer defer being sucked into the draft, and their presence – many settled permanently – had a profound effect on shaping the little-brother nation to the north.

Snow Report: At last, hefty snows arrive to cover the Alpine resorts

There are superb conditions across the Alps after substantial snowfall last week in France, Switzerland, Italy and Austria. In North America, the best snow can be found in Colorado.

Jamie Murray (L) suffered from heat stroke following his victory with doubles partner John Peers (R) over Matt Reid and Luke Saville at the Australian Open

Australian Open 2014: Jamie Murray blames heatstroke on oversleeping which hampered preparations for doubles match

Murray required several hours treatment following the first round victory after playing in extreme temperatures of over 40C

Delhi's Paharganj area is popular with backpackers

Government issues safety warnings for women tourists in India after sex attacks

Violent attacks on Polish, German and Danish travellers reported already this year

Snow forecast is looking good for Sochi

Ski news: Snow forecast is looking good for Sochi

The number of Brits planning to go to Sochi in Russia for the Winter Olympics in three weeks' time will be minimal. Apart from the usual Russian visa requirements, flights are limited, a special "spectator pass" is required in a bid to combat security threats and prices for accommodation and the top events are very expensive.

Flying the flag: revellers at SkiOUT, part of WinterPRIDE on the Whistler slopes

Gay Ski Weeks: A ski sector that is in the pink

Anna Lawlor reports on how resorts are reaching out to a booming market

Head of under-fire prisons firm paid £3.6m

The head of the prisons operator criticised after an 84-year-old dementia sufferer died in handcuffs in one of its immigration centres earned $6m (£3.6m) last year, The Independent has learnt.

Chairperson Norwegian Kirsten Sandberg, Vatican's UN Ambassador Monsignor Silvano Tomasi and Former Vatican Chief Prosecutor of Clerical Sexual Abuse Charles Scicluna. The Vatican was pushed for the first time to provide answers to the UN over its commitment to stamp out child sex abuse by priests

Catholic sex abuse: UN blasts Vatican for failing to protect children from paedophile priests

The United Nations today lambasted the Vatican for failing to protect children from paedophile priests as investigators in Geneva probe the global scandal that rocked the Catholic Church to its foundations.

The courts at the Australian Open are so hot that you can boil an egg on the surface.

Australian Open 2014: Eggs frying on court, spectacular thunder storms and extreme heat - just another day in Melbourne

Play was suspended for four hours due to the extreme conditions

Harmondsworth IRC in West Drayton, where inspectors have revealed that an 84-year-old immigration detainee - who was suffering from dementia - was taken to hospital in handcuffs and died while still in restraints

84-year-old dementia patient died in handcuffs at immigration detention centre

The Chief Inspector of Prisons said the system had "utterly failed" the "most vulnerable people in detention"

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas