Goa: The gig all male poll officials want, but can't have

The relaxed charms and sunny weather of the Indian state of Goa lure people from around the world. Little wonder then, perhaps, that the country's male election officials are keen to put themselves forward for a little duty in the sun.

Beauty and Mumbai's beastly trade

Sonia Faleiro was simply in search of a story she could sink her teeth into. A campaigning reporter on a number of Indian newspapers, the 33-year-old from Goa adhered to one overriding credo: "To convey information about people we know nothing of." And so, when she came across a small news item about dance bars in Mumbai, dens of iniquity in which disadvantaged young women were used and abused by the city's elite, she knew that here was something worth delving into.

The Big Six: Boutique hotels in Goa

It may once have been an armed fortress, but Fort Tiracol now gives guests a warm welcome. Set on a cliff with views across the Arabian Sea and the Tiracol estuary, the seven rooms are decorated in keeping with the location with dark wood furniture, white walls and marigold-coloured fabrics. If the picture wasn't serene enough already, there's an ayurvedic massage centre to relax in, yoga classes to be had and picnics to be enjoyed on the surrounding beaches.

Andrew Buncombe: Cricket may meet its match if Premier League passion

It has always been recognised that because of India's intense, obsessive love of cricket – a passion that sees dusty strips of land across the country packed with children playing with homemade bats and balls – other sports have suffered. Even hockey, which once made a claim to be the country's national sport and at which India has enjoyed considerable Olympic success over the years, has never really come close.

Racist violence migrates to the country

Racism and xenophobic violence is flourishing in towns and villages across Britain – while inner city areas that were once hotbeds of racial violence are now more "at ease" with diversity, according to a new report.

Travel challenge: A winter break in Goa

Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for a specified holiday. Today: a two-week holiday in Goa, departing in the first week of December. Prices are for two people travelling together and include 14 nights' accommodation and transfers.

The Complete Guide To: Goa

This diminutive Indian state packs in miles of relaxed beaches, a rich Portuguese heritage and coconut-laced cuisine.

Tips and deals: 22/02/2009

The kit

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More headlines

Scarlett's mother in court, charged with negligence

The mother of Scarlett Keeling, the British teenager raped and murdered in Goa, was due to appear before an Indian court today to answer a charge that she failed to provide for her daughter's safety by leaving her in the care of her local boyfriend while the rest of the family went travelling.

Suspect appears in court over girl's murder in Goa

A barman arrested over the rape and murder of Scarlett Keeling, the British girl found dead in Goa, has apparently confessed to having sex with the 15-year-old less than two hours before her semi-naked body was discovered on a beach.

Another tragedy in backpackers' haven as Briton dies of suspected drug

There was little left to show of a life cut short in a £2-a-night hotel room just a stone's throw from paradise. There were some old T-shirts, a handful of undeveloped films and a battered journal filled with jottings and sketches. The rest of Michael Harvey's belongings had been taken away by police looking for clues.