News The former Italian premier, Silvio Berlusconi, has called off his political attack dogs

Former PM acts after his media company loses €150m in stock market instability

The French Derby challenger Ocovango works in front of the grandstand at Epsom yesterday

Sir Michael Stoute refocuses Telescope beyond Derby

Even in turning for comfort to its most venerable race, British horseracing contrived to come up with further bad news. Telescope, rated the only serious home contender for the Investec Derby, will not line up at Epsom tomorrow week after disappointing in a crucial gallop at Lingfield on Wednesday. That leaves Libertarian as the only British colt not wholly dismissed by bookmakers against the unbeaten Irish favourite, Dawn Approach – and even he can still be backed at 20-1 after his shock success in the Dante Stakes at York last week.

Life on the edge: demand for tasty cliff-top herb piles pressure on Cornish foragers

It is the new vegetable of the moment, beloved of gourmet chefs – but harvesting it is a precarious business.

Britain's 7 new social classes: do you fit into one?

Are you working, middle, or upper?

Ian Holloway: Blackpool’s former manager saw his new side suffer a third defeat in a row

Blackpool 1 Crystal Palace 0 match report: Matt Phillips leaves it late to ruin Ian Holloway's return

There was no joyous ovation, no mention of him over the PA and little interaction with the home support – it was as if Ian Holloway had never set foot inside Bloomfield Road before.

A year on, wreck of the Costa Concordia still threatens Tuscan coast

More time and money will be needed to remove the Costa Concordia from the rocks off Tuscany where it capsized last year, in part to ensure the toxic materials still trapped inside don't leak into the surrounding marine sanctuary when it is righted, officials said yesterday.

HMV hopes for Christmas to be its saviour

The beleaguered entertainment retailer HMV faces a critical two day of trading before Christmas Day that could play a pivotal role in shaping whether it survives on the high street.

Pardew has expressed his astonishment at Chelsea counterpart Roberto di Matteo's departure just six months after winning the Champions League.

Alan Pardew 'astonished' by sacking of Roberto Di Matteo

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has expressed his astonishment at Chelsea counterpart Roberto di Matteo's departure just six months after winning the Champions League.

Breaking point: Gloucester's Billy Twelvetrees tries to avoid a tackle in the fierce derby match against Bath

Burns proves too hot for smouldering Bath

Gloucester 16 Bath 10: Fly-half leads Gloucester's second-half comeback amid TMO controversy

Tropical Storm Isaac threatens Republican Party convention

Emergency personnel in Florida rushed yesterday to finalise contingency plans to postpone or relocate next week's Republican Party convention in Tampa, should the area be lashed by Tropical Storm Isaac.

Sport Book Of The Week: Manchester City Ruined My Life by Colin Shindler

At Wembley on 30 May 1999, Colin Shindler faced up to inevitable defeat for his beloved Manchester City, 2-0 down in the League Two play-off final against Gillingham as the 90th minute approached.

Simon Calder: Save the safety lecture for the those who head to the Med

Sailing beyond the Arctic Circle is one of the few fast-growing sectors of the cruise industry. More ships are based at UK ports for the summer than ever, with many venturing to Norway, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and beyond. A voyage to the far north is immensely appealing. In one sense an Arctic adventure is the ultimate day trip, because the summer sun will not fall beneath the horizon all summer. And a thousand miles beyond the tree line, tourists can confront some of the world's rawest edges from the comfort of a cruise-ship cocoon. Mountains that no human has ever climbed soar from the ocean. Thick veins of snow trickle from the peaks and fuel the glaciers that gouge through the rock in geology's perpetual power struggle.

Watchdog fiddles with €25m lifeline as Colosseum crumbles

Plans to restore Rome's crumbling Colosseum have hit another snag, after Italy's anti-trust watchdog declared that a €25m lifeline thrown by a luxury goods company breaks competition laws.

Roman holiday: The famous Colosseum

Italy investigates Colosseum masonry problems

Italy's culture ministry said that it is investigating reports that bits of rock have fallen from the Colosseum.

Ricky Gervais says losers are life's characters

Ricky Gervais says "losers" are the real "interesting" characters in life.

Waterline, By Ross Raisin

Down and out in Glasgow and London
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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

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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

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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
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

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Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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