News Gigi Chao pictured with her father, Cecil

Shipping magnate says he 'isn't happy', but backs down after daughter penned poignant open letter asking him to accept her for who she is

Gigi Chao, right, with her partner Sean Eve

Gigi Chao, lesbian daughter of Hong Kong billionaire Cecil Chao, appeals to father over 'marriage bounty'

Gigi Chao tells father: 'I'll marry a man when he marries a man'

Edward Snowden said that he will not be able to return to the US while 'there's no chance to have a fair trial'

Edward Snowden US return: Government hints at possible plea bargain to see fugitive NSA contractor come back from Russia

But the whistleblower says he cannot go home when there’s ‘no chance to have a fair trial’

Hong Kong to destroy 28 tonnes of ivory

In a major step in the battle against the ivory trade, Hong Kong announced today that it will destroy 28 tonnes of its stockpiled ivory.

A pile of confiscated ivory waiting to be crushed in Dongguan, southern Guangdong province

Hong Kong agrees to destroy 28 tonnes of stockpiled ivory

Hong Kong will destroy its 28 tonnes of its stockpiled ivory, the Endangered Species Advisory Committee (ESAC) announced yesterday. This decision comes after Guangzhou in China destroyed six tonnes of ivory earlier this year.

Anthony Hilton: Work hard, live longer and prosper – it's the Asian way

My Week Gresham College professor Doug McWilliams, whose day job is running the Centre for Economic and Business Research, has a habit in his lectures of dropping in factual nuggets that send a shiver down your spine, And as the theme of the series is how the world has to change under the impact of the biggest-ever economic shock – the rapid rise of Asia – he has lots of material.

Hong Kong film pioneer Run Run Shaw, the man who helped bring kung fu movies to the mainstream, has died, aged 107

Run Run Shaw: Farewell to cinema's kung fu king

Hong Kong film-maker Run Run Shaw died yesterday at the age of 106. His influence stretched from Hollywood to Piccadilly

Hong Kong film pioneer Run Run Shaw, the man who helped bring kung fu movies to the mainstream, has died, aged 107.

Chinese Kung Fu film pioneer Run Run Shaw dies, aged 107

The Shaw Brothers Studios he founded produced almost 1,000 films and is largely credited for bringing the martial arts genre to a commercial audience

Destroy the ivory or keep it? A 30-ton dilemma
for Hong Kong

Customs officials are becoming more adept at confiscating ivory at the point of entry, but that’s just the beginning

Christmas Day storms: electricity lines near Reigate in Surrey are repaired

Power firms tackled by MPs over profits and performance

Britain's power distribution chiefs are fuming about the damage to their industry's reputation by the company blamed for blackouts in the South-east over Christmas.

Happy New Year from New Zealand: How the world is seeing in 2014

As the UK counts down to midnight, countries around the world have been ringing in the New Year with a series of dazzling firework displays.

A flooded car park nearTewkesbury Cathedral in Gloucestershire as heavy rain and strong winds continue across the country

New Year with the last of our filthy rich friends

I have escaped to Hong Kong for the post-Christmas come down. I, like many people, get overly stressed by Christmas. I think I suffer from a loathing of anything that expects me to have a good time. History has shown, however, that the empty two weeks after the holiday, when nobody is back to work, can be even worse. So, we have taken the initiative and decided to ponce off our last remaining rich friends. Most people I knew in the City have been fired, and rightly so. Our hosts in Hong Kong were always slightly more deserving of their ridiculous wealth, but even they were finally faced with a choice – redundancy or move to Asia and sack everyone out there. I've always assumed that, once everybody has been sacked, our host will find himself in a room where he somehow has to sack himself. This, however, is an unspoken truth and still a couple of years away, so we decided to strike while the golden calf is still plated.

A soldier checking an underground tunnel leading to Hong Kong from Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong province.

Chinese 'smugglers' build tunnel to Hong Kong

Forty metre tunnel had concrete walls, ventilation and even interior lighting

Samantha Cameron firm Smythson in the red after expansion

Smythson, the leather goods and stationery brand that counts Samantha Cameron as a consultant, went into the red this year due to the costs of expanding.

London: Where offices are now pricier to rent than even Hong Kong

Shortage of space and rise in demand has put the capital in world's top spot, says leading agent
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform