Alastair Cook looks dejected after Australia win the Ashes at Perth

Ashes 2013-14: England must start change sooner rather than later - it is the only option

The humiliating defeat to Australia has prompted talk that this England side is past it and a new crop of players should be given a chance to shine

Karren Brady, West Ham vice-chair, was one of the targets of the breach of confidentiality

Tottenham Hotspur’s spies targeted Olympic Park boss Dionne Knight’s daughter

The school-age daughter of an Olympic official was targeted by rogue private investigators working for Tottenham Hotspur as the football club bid to occupy the new stadium after the 2012 Games.

French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'

French officials have fined a pub in Brittany €9,000 for “undeclared labour” after a customer returned some empty glasses to the bar.

Left party activists shout slogans during a protest against the alleged mistreatment of New York based Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, near the US Consulate in Hyderabad

Devyani Khobragade: Maid tried to blackmail diplomat arrested in New York, says Indian official

Case has sparked a diplomatic furore between the United States and India

Payday lender First Financial fined £175,000 for spam texting

A payday loan firm that persistently bombarded people with spam texts encouraging them to borrow money to have a night out has been fined £175,000.

The bulk collection of Americans' phone records by the National Security Agency most likely runs counter to the US Constitution

NSA surveillance row: US phone-tapping revealed by Edward Snowden 'likely unconstitutional', says judge

The bulk collection of Americans’ phone records by the National Security Agency most likely runs counter to the US Constitution, a federal judge has ruled, labelling the technology behind the program as “almost-Orwellian.”

A scene from The Duck House at the Vaudeville Theatre
Sean Emmett with Abbie before tragedy struck

Superbike racer arrested on UK return after wife died in Dubai

Sean Emmett had been unable to leave the United Arab Emirates for 10 months as police had confiscated his passport following the death of his wife, who fell several floors from a hotel

Postcard from... Solo

In a theatre in the central Javanese city of Solo, a troupe of performers are acting out a fight scene from Hindu epic, the Mahabharata. The god Gatutkaca is dispatching some long-haired bad guys to the delight of the audience.

The attraction
Harrods has opened the Disney Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique – a fairytale castle, complete with characters and dressing-up. Turn into a Disney prince or princess for the day from £100 (harrods.com/disney).
The new terminal is of critical importance to the future of Shenzhen as a booming business and tourist destination, and will bring benefits to the region as a whole

In pictures: China futuristic Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport

China has unveiled its new airport terminal to the public, the modern and elegant design of the airport of Shenzhen has been created based on a concept of fluidity and combines two different ideas: the idea of movement and the idea of pause.

John Bercow will talk to bosses from Facebook and other internet companies

Vote online – the Speaker’s plan to revive politics

John Bercow calls on internet giants to lead digital revolution in British politics  as Commission is set to draw up blueprint for ‘Parliament 2.0’ before 2015 general election

Turkey 'bomber' suspect arrested outside PM's house

Man carrying a fake bomb had called police five times to 'tip them off'

Protesters call for press freedom in support of journalists from the ‘Southern Weekend’ in Guangzhou in January

Leading Bloomberg writer leaves China office after story ditched

It is another example of Beijing’s increasing pressure on foreign news organisations to drop embarrassing stories about the country's leaders

Sean Emmett with Abbie before tragedy struck

British motorcycling champion Sean Emmett cleared to return home following wife's balcony death in Dubai

He had been trapped in the Emirate since February

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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
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine