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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.

Around the world in 80 dishes No.24: Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur curry laksa, by Rick Stein

Traveller's Guide: French Caribbean

With their distinctive Gallic flavour, the islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique, St-Barts and St-Martin offer a unique take on the tropics, says Jane Anderson

Around the world in 80 dishes No.22: Sri Lanka

Sweet pumpkin with roasted coconut, by Channa Dassanayaka

Susie Rushton: You can't put a price on simple pleasures

Do you know why the British economy is struggling? Let me tell you a story to illustrate. On Saturday I went to a village fête in Somerset. Picture the scene: a coconut shy, quoits, an egg-throwing contest, bric-à-brac and an ice-cream van, in a pretty field next to a country church. Toddlers as far as the eye can see; women in striped aprons and men in Birkenstocks. Feeling hungry, I stop by a cake stall, where I buy a home-made chocolate brownie for – get this – 15p. Fifteen pence! By the close of business, I doubt whether the cook-cum-stallholder even made back the cost of her ingredients, let alone turned a profit. And that's what's wrong with the British attitude to enterprise.

Lobster curry

Serves 4

Skye Gyngell's strong, sunny flavours

Sunny, strong flavours are so appealing right now – and these dishes have them in abundance. It is the time of the year for light dishes; fish feels right to eat, as do white meats such as chicken or guinea fowl. It's wonderful to use the tomatoes that are coming into season, alongside saffron, garlic, fennel and chillies that add warmth rather than heat.

The accidental hero – how Cornish sailor saved islanders

Since it was first claimed by a British whaling ship nearly 200 years ago, Europeans and Americans have been drawn to the remoteness of Kanton Island, a speck of land nestling in the Pacific between Hawaii and Fiji.

Sailor comes to rescue of starving Kanton islanders

A British sailor came to the rescue of a group of "desperate and starving" islanders after chancing upon them on his way to Australia, the coastguard said today.

Old-school Thai: Skye Gyngell's authentic Asian recipes

The best cooking in Thailand is found on the streets – simple, vibrant and bursting with extraordinary flavour. And if you want to recreate that authentic taste, it's best to take matters into your own hands

Around the world in 80 dishes: No.3 Brazil

Global kitchen

Chard times: If want to grow delicious veg this year give yourself a head start and buy young plants instead

No gardener needs telling that spring has been slow this year. The jobs we hoped to do in March haven't been done. Easter, too, was chilly (at least it was with us), so there was no chance of catching up then either. It's no good sowing vegetable seed in soil that is both cold and wet. It rots. And time is running out.

Grain of truth: Mark Hix gets creative with rice

I keep all sorts of different types of rice in my larder, as I'm never sure when I might need a quick handful of red camargue or vialone nano to create a dish. There are countless types of rice available in the shops these days – and each has its own uses and needs to be cooked in a certain way. For example, basmati is far too delicate a rice for making a risotto; don't even try it, or you'll end up with a right old bowl of mush...

Coconut rice pudding

Serves 4

Brazilian fish stew

Ingredients to serve 4
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
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