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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".

The Complete Guide To: Mauritius

Beyond the pristine beaches and clear waters of this far-flung Indian Ocean island you can discover a seductive mix of cultures, countryside, mountains and wildlife.

Halfpenny wants more Lions action

Wales wing Leigh Halfpenny is anxious for a quick return to duty after what he admitted was a "frustrating" British and Irish Lions debut.

US navy eyeballs Somali pirates in hostage standoff

Somali elders sought to mediate between the U.S. navy and pirates holding an American hostage today in a high-seas standoff that presents President Barack Obama with a nasty new dilemma.

Peak season: Indian Ocean adventures in La Réunion

On parts of the island of La Réunion, you could be in Paris. Elsewhere in this astounding, volcano-blasted landscape, you could be on another planet

Département 101? Little Mayotte goes to polls

A tiny island in the corner of a distant ocean will vote next Sunday to become a French département or county – defying a separatist trend in other fragments of France scattered around the globe.

Madagascar opposition leader says he controls army

Madagascar's opposition leader Andry Rajoelina said on today that he had the army's backing and was giving the orders during a standoff with the Indian Ocean island's president.

More than 100 killed in island protests

More than 100 people have been killed in civil unrest in Madagascar this week, the worst violence for years on the politically volatile Indian Ocean island, the US ambassador said yesterday.

Family scours Indian Ocean for jet-skier

Wife believes husband missing off Bali for months may be stranded on island

Trail Of The Unexpected: Christmas card

From Lent (the Netherlands) to Trinity Peninsula (Antarctica) via Jesus Island (Quebec), Christianity can take you around the world – to islands where it is Christmas every day: one in the Pacific Ocean, the other in the Indian Ocean.

Golding relishing the 'expressway'

A remarkably relaxed Mike Golding has turned his Open 60 Ecover onto the Southern Ocean expressway in what is the second phase of the Vendee Globe solo round the world race, comfortable in eighth place and still part of the leading group despite being nearly 100 miles behind the leader.

Ibrahim Nasir: First President of the Maldives following independence in the 1960s

In the space of a decade, Ibrahim Nasir went from national hero to national embarrassment, a man who helped secure freedom for the Maldives only to be accused of corruption and effectively forced into exile.

Golding continues Vendee assault

Life is good for Mike Golding, leading the charge for Britain in the Vendée Globe singlehanded round the world race.

Chris Parry: Promising new waters for al-Qa'ida?

The poor take up lawlessness at sea for large ransoms, but future pirates' motives could be political
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