Arts and Entertainment

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".

Maldives government 'looking for private funding for advertising campaign to boost tourism industry'

The government of the Maldives is said to be looking for funding from the private sector for an advertising campaign to boost its tourism industry following turmoil earlier this year when its elected president was forced from office in what he later claimed was a coup.

Bedouins kidnap American tourists

Two American tourists have been kidnapped while travelling in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

Some like it hot: the Mount Cinnamon Beach Club and Resort in Grenada

Summer 2012: Sun guaranteed

Head to the far south of Italy for sun-drenched days on Puglia's beaches. Long Travel (01694 722193; long-travel.co.uk) is offering free B&B at Masseria Torre Coccaro, near Fasano, for children aged up to 12 this summer. This 39-room five-star hotel is set in a 17th-century masseria that counts a chapel among its charming buildings.

Pakistan's Shaheen-1A rocket and India's Agni-V rocket

Anything you can do... Pakistan follows India with its own missile test

Launch is latest proof of escalation of arms in Asia as new report stresses the threat to rest of the world

Maldives president Mohammed Waheed Hassan paves way for early election

The Maldives president has announced that he will call for an early presidential election amid opposition demands following a contentious power transfer earlier this year.

Viceroy, Vagaru Island, Shaviyani Atoll, Maldives

The Big Six: Luxury dive resorts

Viceroy, Maldives

Tsunami alert withdrawn after mass panic

Two massive earthquakes triggered back-to-back tsunami warnings for Indonesia , sending panicked residents fleeing to high ground in cars and on the backs of motorcycles.

Marines from the Navy frigate HMS Portland intercepting and disarming pirates in the Gulf of Aden in 2009

Navy frees four out of five suspected Somali pirates

Britain criticised for 'particularly poor record' in international crackdown on Indian Ocean piracy

Rock star: Granite boulders at the Banyan Tree resort, Mahé

Traveller's guide: Seychelles

Scattered across 650 miles of the Indian Ocean, these tropical islands offer superb beaches, dramatic scenery and a benign climate.

Zimbabwe: Blood diamonds 'could be used for election violence'

Mining officials loyal to President Robert Mugabe are stashing profits from diamond fields amid fears the money could fund political violence ahead of proposed elections, it was claimed yesterday.

Leading article: A coup of more than local significance

Clashes between government and opposition supporters on the Maldives have not spread to the pristine beaches and luxury spas of the Indian Ocean archipelago. So that's all right then. Except that it isn't.

Gas price at a six-year high

Wholesale gas prices touched a six-year high of £1 a therm yesterday as the big freeze showed no sign of letting up in Britain and across Europe.

Telefónica win third stage in Volvo Ocean Race

Spains Telefónica became the first team since Steinlager 2 in 1989-90 to win the first three legs of the Volvo Ocean Race when they held off the challenge of Groupama sailing team to arrive first into the Chinese port of Sanya on Saturday.

Deals of the week: Barcelona, Brussels, Indian Ocean islands

Less than £200... Summer flights

Spanish airline Vueling has announced it is due to start direct flights from Southampton to its main hub at Barcelona's El Prat airport from 23 June this year, just in time for the summer season. Tickets to the Catalan capital – with its vibrant Gaudi architecture, gourmet cuisine and glorious beaches – are available to book now via the website, with return fares starting at €140 (£116). Vueling.com

Royal Navy captures Somali pirates

The Royal Navy has captured 13 Somali pirates on a boat in the Indian Ocean.

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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn