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.

Cricket: The weight of great expectation

Chris Lewis returns to the England side after injury for the second Test at Headingley tomorrow. Adam Szreter spoke to him

From Maya to murder

JONESTOWN by Wilson Harris Faber pounds 9.99



BOOKS : Visionary in a red gown

THIS second novel vaults over the difficulty traditionally associated with following up a successful debut. Swirling around nationalist and international politics, government brutality and corruption, it creates a rich impressionist landscape of a society in the throes of rapid and violent change, filtering economics and ideologies through the visions of childhood. The machinations of men in power are presented as both absurd and cruel: magical realism, here, is invented by politicians. The exuberance and extravagance of the images function as satire. This imaginary Guyana is both real and very weird.

how to go on an expedition

Holiday brochures leave expeditioners cold. For them the lure is exotic: tracking down striped hyenas in Kenya, and investigating their diet by collecting and drying their droppings, or befriending Chamacoco fishermen in Paraguay.


BOOKS FOR CHRISTMASCHAPTER & VERSE2 Pamela Norris's beautifully produced Through the Glass Window Shines the Sun (Little, Brown pounds 13.99) brings together verse and painting from the Middle Ages. Illustrations from illuminated manuscripts accompany texts culled from Boccaccio, Chaucer, Malory and Anon: "Green groweth the Holly" is Henry VIII's charming contribution - a paean to fidelity, the hypocritical old so-and-so.

David McAlmont: the misunderstood star

Does David McAlmont deserve to be big? Ask anyone who's heard McAlmont and Butler's number 8 hit "Yes". This man has an extraordinary voice, the voice of a crazed Dionne Warwick. He's also beautiful, black and gay. Looking into life's crystal ball for a moment, does that spell STARDOM, or TROUBLE?

We must end this war of town v country

Most of us live in cities and constantly plot our escape. But now, rural interests are resisting the invaders

Worry no longer about that piece of string


Guyana cyanide leak `a disaster'

Georgetown - President Cheddi Jagan of Guyana designated a large swath of territory south of the capital as an environmental disaster zone after cyanide from a Canadian-owned gold mine seeped into the Omai river, which joins the Essequibo, Guyana's largest river. Mr Jagan pledged to take all possible steps to contain the contamination from the deadly poison that was discovered at the Omai gold mine last Saturday.

Cyanide from mine threatens Guyana river


Illingworth prefers to keep a low profile

Ray Illingworth, who is an amiably talkative man, does not like press conferences. He has rejected several requests that, as the chairman of selectors, he should appear before the media at the close of play on each day.

Going to El and back

THE CREATURE IN THE MAP by Charles Nicholl, Cape pounds 20

Profile: Fighter against time Dennis Andries

Harry Mullan meets Britain's ageing lord of the ring who has earned res pect the hard way

OBITUARIES / Norman Beaton

As the elder statesman of black actors in Britain, Norman Beaton was a lifelong champion of their rights and opportunities in theatre, film and television. Beaton himself was involved in many ``firsts'' in all those media, although it was as the P eckhambarber in the Channel 4 situation comedy Desmond's that he gained international fame.
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas