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".

Pirates threaten to kill children

Pirates holding three children and their parents have said they will kill them if any rescue attempt is made.

Pirates captured on 'mother vessel'

The Indian navy has captured 28 suspected Somali pirates from a Thai fishing vessel after a brief exchange of gunfire in the Indian Ocean.

Mauritius: Two men 'confess to hotel murder'

Two of the three hotel employees who were arrested in Mauritius for the murder of a Northern Ireland woman on honeymoon have confessed to the killing, the country's commissioner of police has told Irish radio.

A Disastrous History of the World, By John Withington

The publisher seems to be pushing its luck by describing this haul of the "nastiest things to have afflicted humanity" as "compulsively readable and entertaining". Weirdly enough, this is spot on. Withington's eye for detail enlivens what might otherwise be a morbid litany.

Maldives – home of rising sea levels and the green elite's new meeting place

As environmentalists head for Cancun, the President pioneers a new type of eco-symposium

Tough new rules on marriage vows in Maldives

The Maldives has set new rules for conducting marriage ceremonies for tourists drawn to the islands' beaches, after being embarrassed by a celebrant who heaped abuse on a Swiss couple renewing their vows.

Travel Agenda: Ski and Snowboard Show; NuBeginnings' luxury bootcamp; A Hedonist's guide to Marrakech; Trou aux Biches resort in Mauritius

Today: The Ski and Snowboard Show is in full swing at Olympia in London, with a Quebec husky lodge, ice-driving experience and Snowbombing after-party; the show runs until tomorrow ( metrosnow.co.uk).

Scientists explain parting of Red Sea

One of the most dramatic episodes in the Old Testament, the parting of the Red Sea, may actually have happened, research has shown – although the event described in the Book of Exodus was more likely caused by freak weather conditions than the hand of Jehovah.

Teenage sailor's mother drops opposition

The mother of a 14-year-old Dutch girl who wants to sail solo around the world said in an open letter published today that she has given up her opposition to her daughter's trip.

Coral: Lost at sea?

Coral reefs support a quarter of the world's marine life, but rising ocean temperatures are killing them. The impact of their decline could be huge, says marine biologist Olivia Durkin

Glenn Moore: The view from the beach

It really does not get much better than this. Fifty yards in front of me the waves break from the Indian Ocean onto Durban’s shoreline.

Somali pirates free UK-flagged ship after ransom

Somali pirates have released a British-flagged ship they seized on 1 January, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said on yesterday, and the European Union Naval Force said the release came after a ransom was paid.

The Maldives: Enjoy the splendid isolation while it lasts

My eyes are stinging from the salty water which is seeping into my snorkel as I navigate the shallows. The odd fish flits past. I’m heading, I hope, in the direction of the renowned house reef at the Lily Beach resort at Huvahendoo in the Maldives. So far so pleasant, but unspectacular.

Leaking oil rig ablaze in Timor sea

Australia promised an investigation today after a massive fire erupted on an oil rig that had been leaking into the Timor Sea - the latest drama in a 10-week saga to plug the hole.

The Big Six: Indian Ocean villas

From Creole style and contemporary opulence to a five-bedroom villa that is ideal for guests who don't want to share the sand with anyone else...
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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
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935