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".

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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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
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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
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'