News Indian Congress members and supporters celebrate after India’s Union Cabinet approved the creation of a new state

Congress-led federal government wants to create a new area called Telangana

England given Christmas off between trips to India and Middle East

England's cricketers will at last have the chance to draw breath this winter. Not only will they be home for Christmas but they will also have more than two months off leading into the new year. Securing the break in the relentless schedule was an integral part of the England and Wales Cricket Board's tour negotiations for the winter.

Revered Indian guru dies

Hindu holy man Sathya Sai Baba, considered a living god by millions of followers worldwide, died on Sunday morning in a hospital near his southern Indian ashram, a doctor said. He was 86.

Hyderabad: Empire state re-building

This Indian city, with its rich history and culture, deserves a higher profile with British travellers

Hindu holy man reveals truth of terror attacks blamed on Muslims

India is being forced to confront disturbing evidence that increasingly suggests a secret Hindu terror network may have been responsible for a wave of deadly attacks previously blamed on radical Muslims.

Shivaji: At home with a Hindu hero

The magnificent fortresses created by the 17th-century warrior Shivaji provide an insight into the soul of the Indian nation, says Adrian Hamilton

Pakistani doctor held under blasphemy law

Pakistani authorities have arrested a doctor on suspicion of violating the country's contentious blasphemy laws after he threw away the business card of a man who shared the name of the Prophet.

Hang on, there's a message

Hair-raising acrobatics such as these might look exhilarating, but in this case, they also carry a serious moral message. Members of the aerial dance troupe Project Bandaloop pictured here claim to be exploring "the relationship between movement and gravity" to raise awareness of humans' interaction with their environment.

Suicides and pressure tactics tarnish image of micro-finance lending

India's bitter experience shows the downside to a system for rescuing the world's poor that had Nobel Prize beginnings

India draw with New Zealand in second Test

The second Test between India and New Zealand at Hyderabad has ended in a draw at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

Gayle smashes brilliant double century

Chris Gayle plundered a brutal, unbeaten double century to put the West Indies firmly in control after the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle. The flamboyant opener, on his first Test innings since losing the captaincy to Darren Sammy, smashed 26 fours and eight sixes as he dominated a day that closed with the tourists on 362 for 2.

Harbhajan's first Test ton guides India to safety against Kiwis

Harbhajan Singh's first century in any form of cricket earned India a hard-fought draw in the first Test against New Zealand despite a top-order collapse in Ahmedabad yesterday.

Laxman bats through pain to inspire India to remarkable one-wicket victory

Australia 428 &amp; 192 India 405 &amp; 216-9 <i>(India win by one wicket)</i>

India secure stunning win over Australia

VVS Laxman's unbeaten half-century helped India pull off a thrilling one-wicket win over Australia in the first Test in Mohali today.

Gas truck explosion kills 18 in Pakistan

Police say a gas truck accidentally exploded in southern Pakistan, killing 18 people and wounding 40.

Facebook to open office in southern India

Popular social-networking site Facebook will open an office in India, joining a long list of international firms that have looked to tap a skilled workforce that provides support services at relatively cheap wages.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert