Sport Richie Barker

Your guide to all the departures since the season started

A total of 342 recruits were formally inducted into the Indian paramilitary force, after completing 34 weeks of rigorous training in physical fitness, weapon handling, commando operations and counter insurgency

In pictures: Graduation ceremony of BSF recruits in India

New recruit of the Indian paramilitary Border Security Force soldiers took part in a passing out parade ceremony in Humhama, on the outskirts of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir. A total of 342 recruits were formally inducted into the BSF after completing 34 weeks of training.

Residents of Canvey Island, Essex, being rescued by boat, during the disastrous floods, 1953

In pictures: Looking back at the disaster of the 1953 east coast floods

In January 1953, the east coast of England was devastated by some of the worst flooding in recent memory. A number of extreme weather events combined to cause major flooding in areas throughout Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent and the outer Thames Estuary.

'Elephant in Mist' by David Gulden. Gulden documents the declining landscape of African wildlife

In pictures: Christmas Elephant Appeal

Wildlife photographer David Gulden has captured incredible shots of animals in Africa for over two decades. Whether they be common or endangered, through his photographs he documents their daily life and their most personal moments.

A sex worker activist attends a demonstration with prostitutes against a proposal to scrap sanctions on soliciting and instead punish prostitutes' customers with fines, Paris

In pictures: France debates prostitution bill as protests spread outside the parliament

French lawmakers are debating one of Europe's toughest laws against prostitution and sex trafficking. Local movie stars have signed petitions, political parties are split, and sex workers complain the government is doing them out of a living. France is divided over a bid to crack down on prostitution.

Artist Alex Chinneck poses on the rooftop of his latest art installation 'Upside Down House', London

In pictures: 'The Upside Down House' art installation unveiled

Alex Chinneck's artwork 'Upside Down House' ('Miner on the Moon') has been created as part of the annual Merge Festival in the Bankside area in London.

The best pom-pom beanies for winter

The bigger the pom-pom, the better. Embrace the cold with this playful chunky-knit, says Linda Sharkey

A view at the Christmas market at the Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic

In pictures: Christmas markets open in Prague

Christmas markets are a key ingredient of the festive magic in the Czech Republic. The largest and most popular markets are held at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square with smaller ones at Republic Square and Havel's market. Visitors should find some nice items to take home, to decorate their houses or to use as Christmas gifts for friends and family.

A photo of actor Paul Walker among flowers and candles left by fans at the site of the car accident in which the 'Fast and Furious' actor and driver Roger Rodas died in Santa Clarita, California

In pictures: Fans, friends and fellow stars pay tribute to US actor Paul Walker

The neighborhood where 'Fast & Furious' star Walker died in the one-car crash is known to attract street racers, according to law enforcement officials. Walker and his friend and fellow fast-car enthusiast Roger Rodas died when the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT they were traveling in smashed into a light pole and tree.

Revelers dance at National Day of Samba celebrations at Pedra do Sal in the port district in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

In pictures: Brazil celebrates National Day of Samba

People across Brazil gathered to celebrate the National Day of Samba. The traditional dance is considered Brazil's national rhythm and can be traced to Brazil's slave trade from West Africa. Pedra do Sal is a historic venue for Brazilians of African descent and is known as the birthplace of samba in Rio de Janeiro.The site was formerly a large slave market.

A Thai anti-government protester reaches to shake hands with policemen as they jubilate the end of fighting as they enter the Municipal Police Bureau and march into the Government House after days of violence in Bangkok, Thailand

In pictures: Thai anti-government demonstrations called off as police let protesters through the cordons

Thai anti-government  protesters proclaimed victory after police took down barriers and allowed them to enter key government installations, removing a flashpoint for clashes and effectively bringing an end to days of violence in Bangkok in which five people have died.

Aurelia Castro is embraced by her son Raul as his daughter stands by his side. Aurelia's first husband was killed in 1984 when the couple tried to escape from soldiers who accused villagers of collaborating with Shining Path rebels, Peru

In pictures: Biggest exhumation underway from Peru conflict

The exhumation in the district of Chungui in Peru brings back traumatic memories for survivors of the internal conflict of 1980-2000, in which soldiers and their paramilitary allies dismembered and killed women and children left behind by fleeing Shining Path rebels.

In the frame: 'The Fighting Portsmouth'

Political Cartoon of the Year: Drawing the line on the powerful

Dave Brown is defending his title as winner of the Political Cartoon of the Year tomorrow. Kasia Kowalska meets the man behind the pictures

Cyber Monday: The 10 worst Christmas gift ideas for your girlfriend

Online retailers are bracing themselves for what could be the busiest, and most profitable day, for Internet shopping in history.

Olympic diver Tom Daley has revealed he is in a relationship with a man, but there is a number of athletes that have made the decision to publicly announce their sexuality.

Tom Daley: Olympic diver should not feel alone after he joins a growing number of athletes to publicly announce their sexuality

Daley made the decision to publicly confirm he is in a relationship with a man with many others feeling the need to make similar revelations in the past

David Cameron meets pupils from Long Jiang Lu Primary School in Chengdu

In pictures: David Cameron on a trade mission in China

David Cameron has arrived in China on a trade mission to create a 'partnership for growth and reform'. Prime Minister is accompanied by more than 100 UK business leaders for a three day trade visit.

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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