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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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?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable