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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...

Bhutan celebrates coronation of new king

The tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan crowned its new king today after a two-year wait for the precise moment deemed most auspicious for a successful reign.

John Laughlin: 'It was possibly the worst sustained weather I've been out in'

My Danish race partner, Thure Kjaer, had joked beforehand that it has rained every time he has been to our green island but this time the weather forecast indicated we were in for some truly exceptional weather.

Blindsight (PG)

Erik Weihenmayer is a blind American mountaineer who not only conquered Everest, but gathered a group of blind Tibetan children to climb a neighbouring Himalayan peak, the point being not the conquest itself but the team spirit and self-esteem it would foster.

Kashmir tries to defuse shrine riots by revoking deal

Officials in Indian-administered Kashmir have stepped in to try to defuse a row over the donation of government land to a Hindu shrine which triggered the biggest protests in the area for almost two decades.

Meet the original magician of the silver screen

The best special effects rely on imagination and artistry, not on whizzy CGI software. Geoffrey Macnab applauds the original, pre-digital magicians of the silver screen

Bumblebees set new insect record for high-altitude flying

Scientists reveal remarkable ability of mountain-dwelling bumblebees to fly in air so thin it would kill a human

The Necks, Vortex Jazz Club, London

For many years, north-east London's most welcoming bohemian outpost, The Vortex, used to operate from a small upper room in Stoke Newington, before moving to its current location in an even smaller upper room in nearby Dalston. Tonight, the tiny space is packed to the rafters – or rather, to the ceiling's hi-tech exposed girders and air-conditioning conduits. The latter don't seem all that effective against the combined humidity of a roomful of people – in fact, it appears as if most of the patrons have passed out with heat exhaustion, their eyes closed and mouths slightly agape.

Nepal: On top of the world

In Nepal, a way of life that has remained the same for centuries is on the brink of profound change. Mike Higgins encounters a land of charm, simplicity and epic beauty, where the people are looking to the future

My life in travel: Nina Campbell

'One should always travel with a pillow, a shawl and a candle'

Even the Himalayas can't compare with the beauty of Lakeland

He's explored the world's greatest landscapes, but Sir Chris Bonington's heart will always belong to the Lake District. On the eve of the Cumberland Ale Keswick Mountain Festival, he reveals his best-loved walks – and pints

Story of the scene: 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' Robert Wise (1951)

In an extended scene at the end of The Day the Earth Stood Still, the pioneering sci-fi film, the robot Gort prepares to punish humankind after the US army shoots down his alien companion Klaatu. Patricia Neal's character races to the spaceship to stop him, where she utters the immortal line "Klaatu barada nikto" before the robot carries her into the spaceship itself. Little did the audience know the physical cost the sequence was having on the actor playing Gort.

King of Bhutan gives up his absolute monarchy

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, a land that has made promoting happiness its paramount goal, ends more than a century of royal rule today with its first parliamentary elections. And no one, except the King who is giving up his power, seems happy about it.

Glacier ice loss at record levels

Glaciers are shrinking at record rates and many could disappear within decades, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said yesterday. Scientists measuring 30 glaciers around the world found ice loss reached record levels in 2006, the most recent year for which data are available.

Uttoxeter: Himalayan hits the heights as Cup hero comes back to earth

For the week's equine heroes, there was a day doing nothing and the plaudits of a victory parade. For the human halves of the partnerships it was business as usual in less glorious surroundings than Cheltenham. And for Sam Thomas, only 24 hours earlier on cloud nineafter his Gold Cup victory on Denman, it was a thoroughly down- to-earth day at Uttoxeter.

Miles Kington Remembered: Your all-purpose guide to the nation's stately homes

The third Earl was an expert botanist who brought back trees from the Himalayas. Presumably there is now a patch in the Himalayas that is bare of trees
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