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
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine