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".

Something To Declare: Maldives; Montenegro; Thistle; South Coast railway line

Warning of the week: Maldives

The Oberoi, Seminyak

The Big Six: Balinese beach retreats

Jiva Puri, Cemagi

Maldives calls off resort spa ban

The president of the Maldives has ordered the country's resorts to reopen their spas pending a court decision, just days after they were shut under pressure from an Islamic opposition party.

Iran tests medium-range missile

Iran's navy says it has test-fired a medium-range surface-to-air missile during a drill in international waters near the strategic Strait of Hormuz - the passageway for one-sixth of the world's oil supply.

US warns Iran over vital oil route closure

The United States yesterday warned Iran that it would not tolerate any disruption of naval traffic through the Strait of Hormuz, after Iran's navy chief said the Islamic Republic is capable of closing the vital oil route if the West imposes new sanctions targeting Tehran's oil exports.

Iran oil route threats are 'rhetoric'

Britain dismissed Iranian threats to close a vital route for the oil trade today as "rhetoric" intended to distract attention from its nuclear programme.

So far, so good

On an idyllic island marooned in the Indian Ocean, Matthew Bell is reduced to incoherent ecstasies. Modern Mauritius is that kind of place, he says

Mauritius: So far, so good

On an idyllic island marooned in the Indian Ocean, Matthew Bell is reduced to incoherent ecstacies. Modern Mauritius is that kind of place, he says

Secret talks to return islanders after 40 years

British diplomats are negotiating with the Americans to ensure exiled inhabitants of the Chagos Islands are offered the chance of jobs on the strategic US airbase of Diego Garcia, The Independent can reveal.

Scientists ask for escort in Indian Ocean due to pirates

Scientists are seeking the help of the Australian and US navies to repel Somali pirates who are threatening one of the world's key climate monitoring programmes.

Naked rower has to be rescued again

An Irishman rowing naked across the Indian Ocean has been rescued off Australia after he hit his head in rough seas.

Book Of A Lifetime: A Bend in the River, By VS Naipaul

'A Bend in the River' was published when Naipaul was nearly 50. One of the greatest novels about the process of "becoming" (as opposed to "being") a nation, especially after the colonising powers have departed, it is tense with a taut hyper-awareness and knowledge of every nuance, subtext, context and history of the various mix of peoples in the unnamed Central African country where the book is located. Indwellers; assimilated and semi-assimilated Arab traders; erstwhile slave classes now racially intermingled with the Arabs who used to own them; the bush or village Africans; Europeans; the diasporic peoples of the Indian Ocean (to which our first-person narrator, Salim, belongs); visitors; expatriates... 'White Teeth' wasn't quite the first multicultural novel.

Travel Agenda: Edinburgh Science Festival; LBC Travel Show; Turnberry Resort; Bloc Hotel; Six Senses resorts; Indian Ocean Drive

Today: The Edinburgh Science Festival gets underway. Highlights of the two-week event include "The Science of Fireworks", a talk about giant pandas, film screenings and a sleepover at Edinburgh Zoo (sciencefestival.co.uk).

UK announces £6 million funding to tackle piracy

Britain says it will spend £6 million pounds to tackle piracy in the Indian Ocean.

The Sultan of Zanzibar, By Martyn Downer

Funny, fast-moving and astounding, this biography goes way beyond what would be considered feasible in fiction.

Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup