News

The stellar explosion is the closest to be spotted since 1987 and will provide a 'galactic yardstick' for astronomers judging distances across the universe

Imps' improvement is fired by cigars

A surge in sales of Cuban cigars in China and other emerging markets has helped Imperial Tobacco report a 3 per cent rise in sales for the past nine months.

Under new management: Fidel Castro's brother, Raul, has introduced 313 guidelines to relax the economy - although many ordinary people believe the elite are merely buying time

Cuba: The second revolution?

For the first time since the 1959 coup, Cubans are able to buy and sell property, set up businesses and farm their own land. Could these new liberties signal a move towards a free-market economy? Don't count on it, says Margareta Pagano.

A man sells second-hand books in Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad

Robert Fisk: The Baghdad street of books that refuses to die

Saad Tahr Hussein rushes me through the narrow alleyway towards Mutanabbi Street, where the concrete wall in front of the central bank hems in the pedestrians. About a thousand Iraqis briefly see – or don't notice – the sly shade of a Brit as he stumbles down the alley. Then, in the square where the statue of old Marouf al-Rasafi, poet and history-debunker under British colonial rule, glares at the crowds, we turn left into the street of books.

Harriet Walker, right, enjoys a cigar with Edita Nemethova

Happiness is a hotel cigar evening for new generation of female smokers

Would Harriet Walker be hooked by the latest trend sweeping London's social scene? You're Havana laugh

Djokovic’s altitude training has helped him to reach peak fitness

James Corrigan: Wada's bigwigs need to get off their high horses

The Way I See It: Altitude training is not a health risk – so how then could it possibly be against the spirit of sport?

The Moonlite Bunny Ranch Brothel outside Carson City has a collection box for Paul’s campaign

Pimping for Paul – Nevada brothels back the libertarian contender

In a state built on rugged individualism, Ron Paul is a major Republican player

Imps sees its sales damaged by Syria sanctions

Sanctions against war-torn Syria have hit sales at Imperial Tobacco, maker of JPS and Davidoff cigarettes, the firm said yesterday.

Strip search: David Schneider lives it up in Vegas

The secret to success in Las Vegas? No gambling...

You can fly there in style, stay in the newest hotel on the Strip, see a show, even fire a gun. But the secret to success in Las Vegas? No gambling

Hold The Back Page: 16/07/2011

Khan proves a hit with the ladies

Boxing has never had much of a female fan base, and even its popularity with chaps is diminishing after recent aberrations, but step forward Amir Khan – on a one-man mission to get more ladies to the bouts.

The really big smoke: world's longest cigar

A Cuban aficionado has rolled the world's longest cigar – measuring 268ft 4in.

Who needs Mickey when Winter's on your side?

A new film about an injured dolphin is about to put Florida's Gulf coast in the spotlight. But there are more reasons to come here, says Kate Simon

Malcolm Allison

Lack of space perhaps prevented Ivan Ponting's typically admirable tribute to Malcolm Allison (16 October) mentioning his brief sojourn as manager at then non-League Yeovil Town in 1981, writes KG Banks.

Cement flows for permanent plug of BP's Gulf well

Crews pumped cement into BP's blown-out oil well thousands of feet below the sea bottom today, working to finally seal the runaway well.

Alejandro Robaina: Tobacco farmer regarded as the godfather of the Cuban cigar industry

Alejandro Robaina, the "godfather" of the Cuban tobacco industry, was widely regarded as one of the finest cigar producers in the world. He started smoking at the age of 10, and eventually five cigars bore his family name – a unique distinction.

Godfather of the Cuban cigar dies, aged 91

Cuba was in mourning yesterday for the godfather of its most celebrated national product – a thing so good that the United States has felt compelled to ban it from its shops for half a century – the Cuban cigar.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee