News The Teknik Perdana was looking for oil off the coast of Guyana

Two Britons are believed to be among the crew of a seismic research vessel under effective “ship arrest” today after becoming snarled in a territorial dispute that flared over the weekend between Venezuela and neighbouring Guyana, which dates back over a 100 years to when Guyana was under British control.

Ricky Ponting made his debut for Surrey against Derbyshire

Fred Marafono: Soldier who served in the SAS and fought the rebels in Sierra Leone

Fred Marafono, SAS Squadron Sergeant Major and lion-hearted warrior, spent almost his entire adult life practising his superb military skills. He had the distinction of being selected for the best three times over: in 1964 he was one of the first Fijians to pass selection for the SAS; after extensive service, in 1985 he was asked by David Stirling, founder of the Special Air Service, to join the private security company he was starting up; and in 1995 he was recruited by Simon Mann for the élite South African private combat company, Executive Outcomes, to fight against rebel forces in Sierra Leone's vicious blood diamond wars.

William Hague

William Hague and the £10,000, taxpayer-funded stuffed anaconda

Government budgets may be constricting all round Whitehall, but when it comes to the urgent matter of serpent taxidermy, cash can always be found.

Sunil Narine of the West Indies celebrates dismissing Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene

World Twenty20: 'Sky is the limit' for West Indies

Marlon Samuels believes the “sky is the limit” for West Indies cricket following their ICC Twenty20 final win over hosts Sri Lanka.

Marlon Samuels hits out for the West Indies yesterday

Samuels shows tourists they do not need to be a one-man band

Shivnarine Chanderpaul's batting technique is the antithesis of elegance. Shuffling across the crease to turn the ball into the leg side, his workmanlike style frustrates bowlers and spectators alike. Yet Test cricket will miss him when he is gone.

West Indian bowlers; Fidel Edwards, Kemar Roach and Shane Shillingford

Chaos and crisis in Caribbean

As they arrive for the Tests against England, West Indies are average on the field and a shambles off it. Stephen Brenkley reports

163 escape as crash jet breaks in two

All 163 passengers and crew on board a Caribbean Airlines jet survived when the plane skidded off the runway while landing at night in Guyana and broke in two on the edge of a ravine.

The Sly Company of People Who Care, By Rahul Bhattacharya

Guyana novel flows like a river

On the trail of the unexpected in the land of the giants

World-class wildlife, swathes of untouched rainforest and historic cities. Donald Greig finds much to recommend about a trip to Guyana and Suriname

To Miss With Love, By Katharine Birbalsingh

Katharine Birbalsingh is the deputy head whose observations on South London schools in her blog, and at the Conservative Party conference, put her under pressure to resign from a Streatham "Academy". You needn't agree with her views, or how they were publicised, to call this over-reaction. And this fictionalised re-creation – borrowing its title from ER Braithwaite's To Sir, With Love (1959) – will be pored over for political significance.

Meet the hoatzin: the smelly fowl with get-out claws

A wheezy alarm call, like a smoker's cough, is the first clue. Then, as your dugout noses further into the Amazonian backwater, a flurry of wingbeats has you peering upwards. A big, chestnut-coloured bird lurches out of the tangle and flaps clumsily away, like some deranged, prehistoric pheasant.

Twenty-three survive Venezuela plane crash

A plane owned by Venezuela's state-run airline Conviasa crashed yesterday during a domestic flight with about 50 people on board, but at least 23 survived.

'I'm always looking for trouble': Why Dom Joly prefers to take his holidays in hell

Forget the sanitised world of modern package tourism. For Dom Joly, it’s more rewarding to spend time visiting the planet’s more difficult destinations
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links