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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.

FOOD & DRINK: Flipping great

The pancake used to be a handy way to use up goodies before Lent, but Mark Hix reckons it's a feast in itself

Tropical bread pudding

Serves 4-6

Green turkey curry with pumpkin and coconut

Serves 4-6

Chris Martin: The coffee market should be a great redistributor of money

From a talk by the singer of Coldplay at a benefit for Haitian coffee farmers in London

Bites: Eat the food then buy the book

Where else - apart from the obvious big names - can you follow Morston Hall's lead and eat the food then buy the book?

Millennium Front Line: Kiribati - Humanity greets dawn of century with `The Dance of the Buttocks'

THE DANCERS, in grass skirts, smooth coconut oil into their skin to make it glisten and carefully straighten the garlands on each other's brows. Nerves are fluttering at the dress rehearsal for the first sunrise of the millennium.

PORTUGUESE OUTPOSTS: Round these parts, they fight battles with coconuts

Founded by the Dutch and rescued by the Portugese, the twin towns of Recife and Olinda keep themselves in shape with sibling rivalry.

Caribbean Food: Cinnamon and spice and all things nice

Even when catering for a funeral, cooking on the Spice Island is a celebration of life.

Caribbean cuisine

AN EXOTIC blend of fresh fruit, local root crops, fresh seafood, local spices and goat, West Indian food is one of the major pleasures of a Caribbean holiday. To make the most of the West Indian and Creole (a fusion of French and West Indian flavours) menus, here are a few pointers from the Lonely Planet Guide to the Eastern Caribbean (pounds 11.99):

Ultimate Guide: No wonder Gauguin stayed put

SOUTH PACIFIC: THE MARQUESAS: Mark Rowe sails the South Seas and falls for the Marquesas, the French painter's final resting place
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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
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect