News

Rescuers have recovered 23 survivors, pulling the last from the wreckage on Sunday but at least 17 workers have died

Travel: Operatic overture

THE travel publisher Rough Guides is hedging its bets ahead of the day when we all decide Abroad is really far too risky and we should stay at home instead.

Speedy cash for the stranded traveller

My 19-year-old daughter is travelling in Goa in southern India, and has had all her money stolen/lost it/run out. I need to get pounds 500 out to her urgently. What is the best way?

West End gallery provides nursery for contemporary Chinese artists

Work by contemporary Chinese artists, some never seen before in Europe, is being shown in a series of solo exhibitions at the new Phinn's Gallery in the West End.

POP MUSIC / On music

It's an ambient techno dub trance jungle out there. You don't know whether to nod, sprawl on cushions or run on the spot for eight hours with your shirt off, do you? At a club called Return to the Source - Part Two, tonight at the Rocket in Holloway Road, officially you can do all these things, but the nature of the music is such that running on the spot is probably the most suitable choice. Here they take their trance seriously, going big on the mesmeric effect and the pagan angle. Tonight, Return To The Source is back due to demand (Megadog is off for the summer), and becomes a monthly fixture on the slightly scruffy dance scene.

Travel: Off we Goa

Somak Holidays (081-423 3000) is charging pounds 289 for a week including bed and breakfast at the Longuinhos resort, Goa, between 28 October and 15 December.

Travel Departures: Late packages

Inspirations (0293 822244): 22 April, Gatwick to Icmeler (Turkey), seven nights' bed and breakfast, pounds 159; 28 April, Manchester to Goa, 14 nights' bed and breakfast, pounds 329; 1 May, Luton to Paphos, seven nights' bed and breakfast, pounds 269.

I Confess: The playwright Martin Sherman on Edna Ferber

Between the ages of 10 and 15 I swallowed books whole. Mostly the classics of American literature like Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Hemingway . . . but the one who stayed with me was Edna Ferber. Nearly all her books - Showboat, Cimarron, Saratoga Trunk and Giant - have been made into films and musicals. They're potboilers and they're all weepies, but what makes them extraordinary is how feminist they are. They're always about an independent young woman who falls in love with a glamorous man from an unusual cultural background. She always winds up becoming the strongest member of the society she joins and fighting for something honourable . . . although I have a nasty feeling there's a lot of talk about Robber Barons whenever she's up against a rich capitalist (which she usually is).

Travel Departures: Tropical deals

THOMSON Holidays (081-200 8733) has cut pre-Christmas prices on its World Wide and Faraway Shores holidays. For example, a 14-night, room-only package from Gatwick to Goa is available from pounds 299. A 14-night, room-only deal to Barbados costs from pounds 549, while a seven-night, room-only holiday to the Gloucestershire Hotel in Jamaica's Montego Bay costs from pounds 575 - a saving of pounds 80 on the current brochure price.

Letter: The toe of Goa tale

Sir: The woman who bit off St Francis Xavier's toe was not 'ecstatic' ('Vatican threatens to cast out the exorcists of Goa', 20 November), but a Portuguese noblewoman with an eye to the main chance. She bit it off on one of the rare occasions when the body was exposed for the veneration of the faithful and took it home to establish a rival attraction for the pilgrim trade in her family chapel.

Vatican threatens to cast out the exorcists of Goa: The Church is worried about the unconventional zeal with which some members have been pursuing the Evil One, Tim McGirk writes from Nuvem

THE boy was let loose for the exorcism. His keepers at the Christ Ashram kept a lock and chain around his ankle in case the boy, aged 11, needed to be swiftly restrained again. 'It's usually during the monsoon when he gets violent,' said Eugenio Gonsalves, an ex-seminarian, a large man in a white smock with a sweet voice and long wavy hair. 'Seven men cannot hold him. Only Miguel can.' Eugenio motioned to an old spidery man in torn shorts leaning against a tree with a bucket of water.

Out of India: Zombie-like on the beach with Eight-Finger Eddie

GOA - You don't find freaks here any more like Eight-Finger Eddie or Alejandro the opium-loving South American with the bull-whip, or even the German boy perched ever so quietly on a rock with a few feathers in his lank hair who, after a passage of ordinary conversation, confesses: 'Actually, I'm a bird'.

Travel: The best way to Goa: Karaoke in Ye Olde Taj Mahal pub was what Naomi Marks dreaded on her package tour to India's smallest state. She found luxuriant beauty and Portuguese baroque

THE TAXI driver tilted back in his seat: 'Whatever it's like,' he begged, 'tell everybody that it's not up to much.' This Kenyan-born British citizen, who had not yet set foot in the land of his ancestors but had high hopes, was keen for me to enjoy Goa - but not to spread the word. 'It will get ruined,' he explained, as he took me to Gatwick on the first stage of a two-week package holiday in the former Portuguese colony that is the smallest of India's 25 states.

Somewhere a trustafarian is watching Neighbours

ANNE, an ex-flatmate of mine, wakes up to spend another day doing absolutely nothing except sit around waiting to watch the lunchtime and evening transmissions of Neighbours and Home and Away. This is her only routine, and the way she differentiates morning from afternoon.

The elephant didn't get me, but I'm worried: Now Peter Rosengard is not paranoid, but he's left-handed, he's the same age as Bill Clinton, and he keeps having these narrow escapes

MY WEEKEND cottage is in deepest Sussex, just up the road from the sleepy village of Wadhurst, where this month a couple were shot to death in their home. ('It looks like the work of a professional hitman,' the local police chief commented.) The other night I was just turning into my drive when I heard Alistair Cooke on the radio saying: 'Sleeping causes heart attacks, according to a new American survey. So rest but don't sleep. Good night'. I woke up at 2.17am, 3.23am, 4.47am and 6.18am.

Mass tourism blamed for paradise lost in Goa: Tour operators who promote an Indian state as a dream holiday destination are accused of turning a blind eye to reality. David Nicholson-Lord reports

THE WORDS and imagery are persuasive: they speak of dream holidays, friendly locals, an unspoilt, palm-fringed paradise. The reality is drug abuse, child prostitution and widespread environmental destruction.
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Day In a Page

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Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home