New Zealand's Jesse Ryder is in a critical condition in Christchurch Hospital after suffering severe head injuries in a late-night assault

New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder out of coma and talking after brutal assault

New Zealand cricketer is now out of an induced coma and talking, according to his manager Aaron Klee.

Musharraf returns from exile to angry judiciary

Former leader has shoe thrown at him in court as he faces conspiracy charges

Jesse Ryder has had drink issues

Controversial New Zealand all-rounder Jesse Ryder in critical condition after late-night bar attack

Cricketer reportedly set on by four men in Christchurch

Filipino domestic staff lose their court battle for Hong Kong residency

A court in Hong Kong has ruled that two Filipino domestic workers have no right to permanent residency, despite having lived there for seven years. Professionals resident for that long would be allowed to stay permanently.

An aerial shot of Boris Berezovsky's house

Boris Berezovsky died in a bathroom locked from the inside: the final hours of a Russian oligarch

Police refuse to rule out foul play as Russian journalist reveals details of 'confused' and 'anxious' interview hours before his death

Pervez Musharraf: Is this dictator's vanity worth the risk of yet another assassination?

The Pakistan which Musharraf ruled  isn’t particularly memorable for the people he left behind

Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky pictured in 2011

Exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky found dead in his Berkshire home at 67

Police investigate death in Britain of exiled Russian tycoon who had made a powerful enemy in Vladimir Putin

A Muslim 'Measure for Measure'? That's one updated version of Shakespeare I'd love to see

Plus: Absurd person singular in Mohsin Hamid's new novel and "feel-good" isn't good enough for Parks and Recreation

Despite a couple of scares Kevin Pietersen made 68 by lunch

Kevin Pietersen absence a blow admits Alastair Cook

Batsman will miss final Test against New Zealand

Wealthy Russian expats in Cyprus face added pressure from home

One thing wealthy Russians will have learned this weekend is that when a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That is now certainly the case for those who have invested heavily in Cyprus, where the 10,000-strong Russian community is thought to have as much as €35bn in deposit accounts.

Don't claim Irish ancestry because it's St Patrick's Day, just enjoy it!

No one cares how Irish or how un-Irish you are; we can all still celebrate

Kevin McGeever owned a palatial home in Craughwell, Galway

Irish property developer Kevin McGeever held by police investigating alleged 'kidnap'

When he was found Mr McGeever had lost around five stone in weight, had a long beard, hair and nails and had to be treated for malnutrition

Newly elected President Xi Jinping is applauded by delegates

2,592 for, 1 against: so who DIDN'T vote Xi Jinping for President?

In only the second peaceful transition since the Communist Party took power, the 59-year-old becomes China's Premier for the next 10 years

Album: Hurts, Exile (Epic)

In which suave synth duo Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson take things in a darker and heavier direction.

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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
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
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

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

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

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there