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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future