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

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
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick