Travel Med and breakast: Planet Rail offers a trip to Nice

Hemingway's Cuba, self-guided walking in Tuscany, Valentine's Day in France, and the seaside in East Sussex

Back to work for President Obama

Obama gains with Cuban Americans, but effect on policy remains unclear

President Barack Obama won a historic share of Cuban American ballots in Florida this week, challenging the Republican Party's lock on a voting bloc that for decades has defined US policy toward Cuba and the Castro brothers.

Holidaymakers braced for Jamaica hurricane

British holidaymakers on Jamaica were braced for the arrival of Tropical Storm Sandy which is expected to reach hurricane force when it reaches the Caribbean island later today.

Sport on TV: Barnes finds family tree has several suprising branches

It has been a big week for racism, sadly, and for those who do nothing about it. This weekend sees an awareness drive by Kick It Out!, the body set up to combat racism in football. So it was appropriate that John Barnes should appear on Who Do You Think You Are? (BBC1, Wednesday). The Jamaican-born footballer was targeted by English crowds, and the photograph of him backheeling a banana off the pitch became iconic. Barnes was to find anti-colonialist activists among his ancestors, but he also found a man who incurred the wrath of a black figurehead. His family history proved almost as labyrinthine as that legendary mazy dribble through the Brazilian defence.

Cuba relaxes its grip on exit visas

Cuba eases travel abroad for many citizens

FIFTY years after the Cuban missile crisis, there are signs even Cuban government is beginning to relax.

The President has modestly liberalised Cuba’s Soviet-style economy

Cuba ready to relax travel restrictions

Cuba will scrap much-reviled travel restrictions starting in January, easing most Cubans' exit and return, state media said yesterday, in the communist island's first major immigration reform in more than half a century.

Defendants boycott 9/11 terrorism tribunal

The military tribunal for the 9/11 terrorism case resumed yesterday without three of the five defendants – the result of a judge's ruling that the men could not be forced to attend the session.

A man buys a copy of Granma newspaper to read changes that mean Cubans will no longer require exit permits for foreign travel from 14 January 14 - the latest in a trickle of reforms enacted on the communist-ruled island

Cuba lifting much-reviled travel restrictions

Cuba will scrap much-reviled travel restrictions starting in January, easing most Cubans' exit and return, state media said on Tuesday, in the communist island's first major immigration reform in half a century.

Driver jailed for Cuban dissidents' fatal car crash

A driver involved in a crash that killed two leading dissidents was jailed for four years for manslaughter.

Featherweight Orlando Cruz, right, fights American Cornelius Lock in Las Vegas in 2009

Orlando Cruz, thefirst openly gay boxer, comes out fighting

Orlando Cruz's revelation hailed by campaigners and former Welsh rugby captain Gareth Thomas

Ian Thomson: Jamaica was modern before Britain

To mark Black History Month the author of Dead Yard: Tales of Modern Jamaica talks to Miguel Cullen about the ways Jamaica is punching above its weight

Tui has a boost from Brits fleeing summer

The tour operator Tui Travel has shown again how it is benefiting from the woes of it rival Thomas Cook.

People help each other across a flooded section of a road in Port-au-Prince

Tropical Storm Isaac clears Haiti and heads for Cuba and Florida

Tropical Storm Isaac swept across Haiti's southern peninsula early today, dousing a capital city prone to flooding and areas of the poor nation still trying to recover from the terrible 2010 earthquake.

Toots and the Maytals, Concorde 2, Brighton
Jessie Ware, Plan B, London

If ever someone needed to relax, it's Toots

Yohan Blake: The Jamaican sprinter is to play in the Big Bash T20 event in Australia

Bolt's great – but my time is coming soon, says Yohan Blake

The Jamaican Olympic gold medallist Yohan Blake believes the time will come when he takes over from his fellow countryman Usain Bolt as the world's fastest man.

Korea's Woojin Hwang, was thrown off by his horse Shearwater Oscar - the horse bucked after the starting bell sounded

Crash, bang, wallop! The most painful moments of the London 2012 Olympics

The painful side of the Olympic Games has been in evidence, with several athletes lucky to escape unscathed from assorted falls, slips and crashes.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?