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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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

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A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own