Get me out of here - Istanbul, Florence, Cornwall

Now... BA Holidays is offering three nights in Istanbul, departing in May, for £279pp. The package includes accommodation at the four-star Avicenna Hotel, next to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, plus breakfast and flights from Heathrow. Ba.com/holidayfinder

Joseph O’Brien insists all is well with Derby hope Kingsbarns

Mars in sight as O'Brien enters new Classic orbit

Seven days after investing so much nervous energy in the Grand National, the sport today contemplates as tepid a Saturday as can be found in its calendar. But respite is almost immediate, with an engrossing week of Classic trials starting in Ireland tomorrow.

Bayern Munich seal Juventus' fate

Juventus coach Antonio Conte admits: 'I can't see an Italian team winning the Champions League in the coming years'

Financial might of rivals means Italian football must pull together says Conte following defeat to Bayern Munich

Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli banned for three matches after insulting official during AC Milan draw

Former Manchester City striker will miss crucial games against Napoli and leaders Juventus

Ruth Rogers: 'You can tell a chef’s skill from the way they make a pasta pomodoro'

My life in food: Ruth Rogers, chef-owner of the River Café

Rogers is chef-owner of the River Café in London. She co-founded the restaurant with the late Rose Gray, with whom she also wrote books (the million-selling River Café cookbooks) and shared a Michelin star. Although her protégés included Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver, Rogers is not a trained chef herself. Last year Rogers was a finalist for Veuve Clicquot's Business Woman Award last year and now sits on the awards panel, which recognises successful female entrepreneurs worldwide.

Villa San Michele, Via Doccia 4, Fiesole, Italy (00 39 055 567 8200; villasanmichele.com). Family rooms from €543, B&B.

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The Big Six: European kids' clubs

Make pizza, play football, and put on a show

Team Americano: A group of fashionable Americans on location in Italy

iStyle: College blues

Gant helped to create the preppy look that’s the hallmark of American menswear and is just as popular over here. Now its offshoot, Gant Rugger, has opened its first UK store.

Bath Literature Festival: Corn is a food for thought

Fans hoping for a flavour of Tracy Chevalier the person, rather than as the author of Girl with a Pearl Earring, won't have been disappointed at the Bath Literature Festival today. Literally.

Deals of the week: Ferry deals, Grindelwald skiing, Tuscany

Less than £200... Irish Ferries has launched its "Big Spring Sale". Book by 28 February for travel before 26 June and one-way fares are available for £79 with a car and driver sailing between Holyhead and Dublin, or Pembroke to Rosslare, including Easter and May half-term holidays. Irishferries.com

'They were going to rid the world of evil': Vigilante gang accused of kidnapping drug dealer and dismembering him with machete in plan to 'cleanse the world'

Three men, including two former US Marines, arrested and charged with kidnap and murder of  Daniel Delfin

Francesco Schettino, the Costa Concordia captain, was 'guiding a ship of over 300 metres and more than 4,000 people as if it were a canoe'

Costa Concordia captain piloted ship 'like a canoe'

With the anniversary of the Costa Concordia disaster just days away, the magistrate who led the investigation has said the captain of the 4,000-passenger cruise liner manoeuvred it "like a canoe".

The Costa Concordia at Giglio

Captain of Costa Concordia manoeuvered cruise liner 'like a canoe', says magistrate

Ahead of memorial events to mark the anniversary of the Costa Concordia disaster this weekend, the magistrate who led the investigation into the tragedy has said the Captain of the 4000-passenger cruise liner manoeuvered it "like a canoe".

Infrared By Nancy Huston

An ambitious novel of passions and ideas gets under the skin of its rootless heroine

Postcard from... Milan

The world's great sopranos are not the only prima donnas at La Scala. In the latest fit of pique among its performers, ballerinas in the opera house's latest production of Romeo and Juliet have gone on strike after management refused to pay them more for dancing on a sloping floor.

The 10 Best colognes

Refreshing and energising, a splash of these unisex scents will leave you fresh, fragrant and ready to go

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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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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
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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