Travel Take the plunge on MSC Preziosa

Thought cruising wasn't for you? Here's why you're wrong

Tom Cruise: Playing heroic loner Jack Reacher was easy

Tom Cruise said playing heroic loner Jack Reacher was "easy" because it reminded him of his own life.

Tom Cruise and Robert Duvall at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester yesterday

The corner of Manchester that's forever Hollywood as Tom Cruise and Robert Duvall make appearance

Actors among array of celebrities in attendance to watch Manchester United beat Manchester City

Agenda: Caracalla 1947 bag; Rebel Wilson; Barlowered; gifts for the 12 days of Christmas

Fashion: Depeche Mode

Motorsport fans looking for  a style formula (one) should drive themselves to the internet forthwith  and root out  leather-goods label Caracalla 1947.

A splash of the special treatment

From peppermint facials to artificial ice caves, Juliet Kinsman hits the on-trend spas

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: I want a UK Christmas holiday without the Christmas celebrations

Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Will my Samsung Galaxy II work as a phone while in Japan?

Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Euros or sterling? Which card should I use to book my Manchester flight?

Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: What happens when easyJet fares go DOWN after booking?

Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions

Christopher Maloney has yet to find himself in the dreaded 'bottom two'

Rylan Clark: Christopher Maloney to win X Factor

The latest contestant to be booted off the ITV1 talent contest has hailed Maloney despite sniping about the former cruise ship singer last week

Tom Cruise's Battle of Trafalgar

Tom Cruise brought Trafalgar Square to a standstill yesterday when he dropped in by helicopter to do battle with aliens during the shooting in London of his latest film, All You Need is Kill.

Tom Cruise brings London to a standstill

As if people didn't already find Tom Cruise annoying, many were left frustrated on Sunday when Trafalgar Square and surrounding streets were shut down for filming.

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: In the face of long flight delays, what advice do you have for a diabetic?

Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Will our trips to Zaragoza ever get any easier?

Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions

Rylan Clark vs Gary Barlow: X Factor contestant blasts judge in online rant

X Factor contestant Rylan Clark entered a war of words with Gary Barlow by blasting the show's chief judge in an online outburst.

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Why is Manston never mentioned as a London airport option?

Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform