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Gardeners have a habit of going on about their planting disasters, instead of celebrating their successes, says our green-fingered correspondent...

Album review: Orchestra Zurich, David Zinman, Egils Silins, Wagner In Switzerland (RCA Red Seal)

It's easy to overlook how important his stay in Zurich was to Wagner's development. Having fled there in exile following his participation in the failed Dresden Uprising of 1849, the composer would crystallise his ideas of musical drama in the city, through a series of essays, and more concretely in his prodigious output while resident there.

A gang-rape last December sparked protests demanding better protection for women

India police arrest three men over American woman's gang rape in Himalaya foothills

Police in the north of India have arrested three men following the rape of an American female tourist - the latest in a series of sexual assaults on foreign women.

Shipton & Tilman: the Great Decade of Himalayan Exploration, By Jim Perrin. Hutchinson, £25

With what relish Jim Perrin must have written the dateline concluding this idiosyncratic biography: "Ariège, Bastille Day 2012". In Shipton & Tilman, the Pyrenees-based Perrin has ignited some impish Fete Nationale firecrackers of his own to slip under the door of mountaineering's conceit. His aim has been to reclaim these two explorers from an establishment within which "they never truly belonged".

Police in Nepal are investigating a fight between Sherpas and three European climbers

Fighting on Everest is just one more sign the golden age of mountaineering has passed

Overcrowding and culture clashes are the modern Himalayan climbing experience

Daniel Sturridge
heads home England’s
seventh goal last night

James Lawton: Surely it's time San Marino had to qualify against a dot in the Pacific

This was a fantasy which told England of their ability when free of real pressure

Dalai Lama rumoured to be attending England's final ODI in India

Given his patience and mastery of inner peace, the Dalai Lama has some of the attributes required to be an excellent test cricketer. 

Final ODI set to go ahead in Dharamasala as fears of snow melt away

Fears that the fifth and final one-day international between England and India would not go ahead on Sunday were put to bed as the teams awoke in Dharamsala in perfect cricketing weather.

Ronnie Wood enjoys the show

London menswear shows: These boots were made for walking – the catwalk that is

Fashion finds inspiration from the great explorers, discovers Harriet Walker

Ian McKeever was a well-known mountaineer

Conqueror of Kilimanjaro killed by lightning on beloved mountain

Irish climber Ian McKeever inspired others to follow their dreams

Everest 1953: The Epic Story of the First Ascent, By Mick Conefrey. Oneworld £20

The received picture of the 1953 British Everest expedition is of a seamless triumph, to make up for the earlier failures of the 1920s and 1930s. Mick Conefrey's groundbreaking new book reveals how far from seamless it actually was.

Japan’s elderly, who are fitter and healthier than ever before, have created a ‘pension time bomb’; plans to diffuse it include allowing them to work longer and investing in people as they age

Land of the rising retirement age

Japan's pensioners may be celebrated – but they are also creating a 'national crisis'. By David McNeill in Tokyo

Nepal's tragic news sent a shiver down my spine

I awoke, as usual, with the radio on. I can't get to sleep if it's not, a habit I acquired growing up in Beirut where the BBC World Service would always be on. Lebanon is a place where news really matters and you would often find out who was shooting at you from some calm voice in London before anybody local had worked it out.

City lawyer among seven Britons killed in Nepal plane crash

A young City lawyer, two mountaineering friends and a group of outdoor enthusiasts from the north west were among the 19 people killed in yesterday’s plane crash outside Nepal’s capital Kathmandu.

Haute cuisine: the Piacere restaurant has elevated views

Room Service: Shangri-La Tokyo, Japan

Lost horizon at the top of a tower

Leading article: So gifted, yet so refreshingly normal

There are, of course, any number of well-known Olympians. Sir Chris Hoy – who pedalled to a barnstorming fifth gold medal on Thursday – has been a household name since Beijing four years ago. Heptathlete Jessica Ennis became a darling of British sport when she won the world championships in 2009. And as for Bradley Wiggins, he needs no introduction at all. But the most striking aspect of Team GB's performance at London 2012 is the triumph of those who have, until now, laboured far from the limelight.

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Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
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Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
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Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
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newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
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Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
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i100
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Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
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L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
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Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Career Services

Day In a Page

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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015