Fall for autumn's foliage

As the trees begin their magnificent transformation from green to gold, Chris Leadbeater offers options far and wide to see them in all their blazing glory

Simon Calder: When Holidays 4U turns out to be 'no Holiday 2 anywhere'

The man who pays his way

Councils condemn plans to cut rigorous checks for cab drivers

Council leaders and safety campaigners have condemned government plans to relax the criminal checks designed to protect passengers from dangerous taxi drivers.

24-hour room service: Muxima, Algarve, Portugal

Wild at heart in the 'Alengarve'

A Brief History of the Future, By Stephen Clarke

When Stephen Clarke couldn't get his first three books into print, he self-published them under pseudonyms through a fictional publishing house, Red Garage Books. One, A Year in the Merde, became very successful, and now its stablemate, A Brief History of the Future, is published in paperback by Black Swan. It's a comic science-fiction novel involving the invention of a teleportation machine, gangsters, the Pentagon, a female ex-punk prime minster and the ancestry of Captain James Kirk. I salute Clarke's chutzpah and enterprise, but I have to say that the publishers who rejected it had some reason. It's tame and predictable, with stock characters and without any real tension, and the determinedly facetious style quickly palls.

Life After Tesco: What Sir Terry did next

Leaving the supermarket giant allowed its former boss to focus on start-up businesses. He talks to James Thompson

Norway to form independent commission to probe attacks

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg vowed today that Norway will fight back against the twin terror attacks with "more democracy" and said an independent commission is being formed to investigate the massacre and to help survivors and relatives.

Tour de France: Evans poised to steal yellow after keeping Schleck in his sights

Luxembourg rider takes the Tour lead but Australian only needs to overhaul 57 seconds in final time trial

Tour de France: Andy Schleck claims yellow jersey as Frenchman Pierre Rolland win latest stage

An epic final Alpine stage of the 2011 Tour de France saw Andy Schleck take the race leader's yellow jersey as defending champion Alberto Contador's hopes of a fourth title came to an end.

Tour de France: Boasson Hagen wins for Sky as Voeckler suffers on fast descent

Team Sky's Edvald Boasson Hagen more than made up for his stinging defeat on Tuesday with a fine solo victory yesterday whilst yellow jersey Thomas Voeckler emerged unscathed after a hair-raising skid off-road on a perilous high-speed descent.

Tour de France: Contador attacks but Evans proves stronger

Race leader Thomas Voeckler suffered but survived on the Tour's first incursion into the foothills of the Alps yesterday after Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans chanced their arms on the final climb of a rain-soaked stage.

Contador must attack in the Alps to win back time lost by crashes and injury

His knee is swollen and he is four minutes back in the race for the yellow jersey, but Alberto Contador is far from ready to give up. The three-time Tour de France winner is also riding with the cloud of doping allegations hanging over his head but he insists he is focused on the task in hand and will revert to his usual attacking style in the Alps as the race reaches its decisive moments.

Tour de France: Cavendish tightens his grip on green jersey with stage win No 4

Manxman admits he is 'almost unbeatable' in a sprint after leaving main rivals trailing in Montpellier

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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
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?