Sport Rory McIlroy with Tiger Woods in Dubai

The Northern Irishman struck a 63 in the opening round to put him nine under par

Under orders: French soldiers being instructed at their Malian air base last week

Don't go to war over a band of zealots

Alarming as the hostage crisis in Algeria is, memories of Iraq teach us that this is no reason to make an already volatile area more unstable

Algeria crisis is UK's 'top priority' says Hague

The Algerian hostage crisis will remain the Government's “top priority” until every British national at the BP gas plant is accounted for, Foreign Secretary William Hague vowed today.

New Year Honours: 'Death Valley Jack' shocked by his honour

A 77-year-old grandfather who has completed one of the world's toughest races a dozen times – the last time at the age of 75 – said yesterday he was an "ordinary fella" in shock at being appointed MBE.

Victoria Derbyshire

Review of 2012: Radio

Portfolio: George Steinmetz

A third of the Earth's land surface is classified as desert, from the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica to the North African Sahara – and it is a subject that represents a life's passion for landscape photographer George Steinmetz. Inspired by a hitchhiking trip across North Africa in the 1970s, the American aerial artist has spent the past 15 years documenting deserts from above.

Portfolio: Cédric van Turtelboom, Frozen assets

The district of Shunyi, north-east  of Beijing, isn’t known for its winter snow – yet it is home to one of the biggest ski parks in China. And it’s one of eight that the Belgian photographer Cédric van Turtelboom visited on a trip to the region last year for his series My Winter Holiday – a project that won him the honour of being one of four young photographers exhibited at the Grand Palais as part of the celebrated Paris Photo festival.

Postcard from... Granada

Since late last week, a photographic exhibition inside the Alhambra covering the last 70 years of Oman's social and religious history offers a rare and intriguing insight into one of the Middle East's least-known countries.

Find the natural beauty in Australia’s harsh ‘Red Centre’

The Lonely Planet Adventures: The Larapinta Trail

In 1908, it was called the finest walk in the world. It's still the country's most popular hike

Greg Rutherford celebrates winning gold at London 2012

Rutherford plants new roots in Arizona

Greg Rutherford was retracing his family roots yesterday. The London 2012 long jump champion had his Olympic gold medal with him for the launch of the 2013 European Team Championships at Gateshead, across the Tyne from St James' Park, where his late great-grandfather won three top-flight titles as a flying winger with the footballing Magpies in Edwardian times.

Syrian rebels 'seize airport near Iraqi border'

Rebels have captured an airport used by Syria's military near the Iraqi border, activists said, a move which they said would allow them to maintain their hold on the recently seized border town of Albu Kamal.

Paul Nicholls: Champion trainer followed up four Saturday winners with a Kempton double yesterday

Classy chasers face Haldon test on road to Cheltenham

The domestic jump season sprang into life at the weekend – defying the £16m-worth of Breeders' Cup in California – and takes another lively step today at Exeter. The little country track, high on Haldon Hill west of the city whose name it bears, often demands masochism from its patrons when they find themselves shrouded in wet mist that has swept off nearby Dartmoor.

Journey, the game with no guns and no enemies

Game City Prize winner Journey: Balm for the console

No guns, no enemies, no point? Video games have a reputation for violence, but the winner of a prestigious industry award is an utterly peaceful affair, says David Crookes

El Alamein – the desert battle still claiming lives as veterans mark its 70th anniversary

Devil's Garden is home to Bedouins and millions of mines. By Alastair Beach
Allied soldiers capture a German tank in 1942

70 years on from El Alamein, the desert battle that still claims lives

Devil's Garden is home for thousands of Bedouin farmers – and millions of unexploded Second World War mines

Saharan dust clouds likely to bring ghoulish weather phenomenon to the UK

Will it rain blood on Halloween? Saharan dust clouds likely to bring ghoulish weather phenomenon to the UK

Warm fronts expected to carry large amounts of red Saharan sand which, as the warm spell turns to rain and possibly even snow at the end of the week, will fall in liquid droplets that look like blood.

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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 30 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