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chances are that you have spent the past two weeks wrapping, unwrapping and wolfing down the stuff brought to you by people like the cheerful rating whom Horatio Clare calls "N".

A car burns during clashes between residents and Muslim Brotherhood members and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi supporters outside Cairo University

Egypt protests latest: Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel

FCO advising against travel to all regions except resorts on the Red Sea in South Sinai and those resorts on the Egyptian mainland in the Red Sea governorate

Get me out of here - Tuscany, Cornwall, Andaman Sea island

Now... In July, i-escape.com is offering a week at a luxury hotel near Lucca in Tuscany for £519pp. Surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, the four-star Tenuta San Pietro offers an outdoor pool and fine Italian restaurant. Flights extra. i-escape.com

On death row in an Egyptian prison – the retired British businessman who swears he was framed

Alastair Beach meets Charles Ferndale, the convicted  drug-smuggler imprisoned  on the banks of the Nile

Get me out of here - rural Portugal, Mauritius, Egypt

Now... Depart this month for a break in rural Portugal. Sunvil has four nights' B&B at two Pousadas (historic hotels) split between Estremoz and Alcacer do Sal, with TAP flights from Heathrow to Lisbon, car hire and one dinner for £542 per person. Sunvil.co.uk

A scene from 'The Impossible'

DVD & Blu-ray review: The Impossible (12)

Juan Antonio Bayona (114mins)

Hidden Europe: Don't just book it...

Thomas Cook, March 1873

A Grand Canyon-style ocean floor hidden deep under the Red Sea

Navy discovers 250 metre-deep ‘Grand Canyon’ beneath the waves of the Red Sea

The Devonport based ship created 3D images of the canyon, which was found after the ship left the Egyptian port of Safaga

Former President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, seeks refuge in Indian Embassy to avoid arrest

The former President of the Maldives has taken refuge at the Indian Embassy in Male after a court ordered his arrest.

Iranian navy flexes its muscles in Strait of Hormuz

Iran's navy has begun manoeuvres in the area of the Strait of Hormuz, where one-fifth of the world's oil passes.

Ian Williams is aiming for a fourth world title this year

Ian Williams makes it five out of five in Monsoon Cup

A perfect opening set of five wins in his opening five races put Ian Williams and his Team GAC Pindar in a strong position for crossing the first hurdle of a place in the quarter finals of the Monsoon Cup in Malaya.

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: What do you know about company we're considering for our anniversary trip?

Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions

Prime Minister David Cameron is considering stationing warplanes in the Persian Gulf amid rising tension in the region

Britain meets Gulf allies over growing tensions in Iran

Saudi Arabia and the UAE fear there may be attempts to block a vital oil supply route

Action against Iran: UK and US hold talks over military bases

Discussions have taken place between British and American officials over the use of UK bases in the event of military action against Iran, Downing Street indicated today.

Publication of photos of Michaela McAreavey triggers family outcry

The publication of crime scene photographs of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey's body by a Mauritian newspaper marks a new low, her family said.

Rescue launched after boat 'carrying 200 asylum seekers' capsizes

A boat carrying about 200 people capsized south of Indonesia and scores were feared drowned today in an apparent attempt to reach Australia to seek asylum. Indonesian and Australian navies launched efforts to rescue survivors.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona from £949pp
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro from £799pp
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Prices correct as of 12 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
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12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

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Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
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How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
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Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

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