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Hiroo Onoda was a former Japanese intelligence officer, an imperial soldier for whom absolute loyalty and devotion to Emperor Hirohito and his country were paramount in his philosophy, so much so that he refused to surrender following Japan’s defeat in 1945. He remained hidden for another 29 years.

Nick D’Aloisio sold his mobile phone app, called Summly, to Yahoo for £20m

In the Red review of the year: A teenage entrepreneur striking £20m deal with Yahoo was a highlight

Couldn’t you just pretend you’re going to buy a white boat (named Dirty Girl)?

2013 - the year in review: It was a year of many flavours. But were they gourmet burgers or horse meat?

Hundreds of upmarket fast-food outlets opened this year, explaining how as a nation we threw away £12.5 bn on burgers

Survivors sift through debris between two cargo ships washed up by Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan: 'Every single building. Every single house. Destroyed' - Governments pledge millions, but the ruined city of Tacloban still waits

Displaced and destitute survivors scatter the  streets of the ruined city of Tacloban – but the  aid they crave remains critically slow in coming

The aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban

Typhoon Haiyan eyewitness: Water still swirls in streets carpeted with twisted metal and mangled cars

No village or town along the road from the port town of Ormoc in southern Leyte to the provincial capital of Tacloban was spared by Typhoon Haiyan.

Port of call: Auckland harbour on North Island, New Zealand

My life in travel: Lennie James

'I first went to New Zealand with my daughter. It was our big adventure'

Arrivals & departures: Surfing in Kerala, India

Catch waves in style when the region's first surf hotel opens in October

The 10 Best pedicure tools

Ensure your feet are fit to be seen this summer with this selection of tools  to get them in tip-top condition

Heaven and shell: spider, Mudeford and brown crabs at the Jetty Restaurant at Mudeford in Dorset

Heaven in a shell: Crab meat is enjoying a much-deserved renaissance

The crustacean might be fiddly to prepare and less flashy than lobster, but it’s also sweeter, more delicately flavoured – and perfect for enjoying right now.

A place to switch off in perfect peace

The Inn at English Harbour, Antigua

10 years of Freecycle: Matchmaking compulsive off-loaders with the vaguely needy

I’ve no idea why it takes many sofa suppliers six weeks to deliver a sofa, but it does and as a result I’ve got nothing to sit on in my new gaff except an expanse  of scruffy laminate. The idea  of buying a sofa to sit on while  I wait for a sofa to arrive seems needlessly extravagant, so I’ve turned to the global network dedicated to giving away stuff and getting stuff for free.

Turbot chop and coconut curry

Serves 4

Homes painted in bright colours cover a hill in Jalousie, a cinder block shantytown in Petionville, Haiti. Workers this month began painting the concrete facades of buildings in Jalousie slum a rainbow of colours, inspired by the dazzling 'cities-in-the-skies' of well-known Haitian painter Prefete Duffaut, who died last year.

Beauty vs poverty: Haitian slums get psychedelic make-over in honour of artist Prefete Duffaut's 'cities in the sky'

One of Haiti's biggest shantytowns, a vast expanse of grim cinderblock homes on a mountainside in the nation's capital, is getting a psychedelic makeover that aims to be part art and part homage.

Vietnamese red snapper curry

6 red snapper or sea bass fillets, with skin
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
Half a teaspoon finely chopped red chilli

During the wintry weather the natural sources of food change for birds

The foodie bird catches the honey-fed mealworm

As the wintry weather transforms the suburban garden into the blasted heath in King Lear, spare a thought for the poor birds whose natural sources of food have been snowed on, iced up, rained away or blown to buggery.

A taste of India: Learning to cook in Kerala

Hanging upside-down off the back of a wildly bobbing boat is not the best time to do the grocery shopping. Eye-to-eye contact is, I'm told, a key to successful bartering but, like keeping my breakfast down, I'm finding it hard to maintain.

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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 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own