Sport Ice moves: Shiva Keshavan in Vancouver in 2010

When the athletes march into the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics next month, one flag you won't be seeing is the green, white, and saffron of India. Four Indian skiers will be participating in the games as independent athletes, but they won't be able to formally represent their country, since the Indian Olympic Association has been suspended by the International Olympic Committee since 2012.

Adoption agencies warned off Haiti's orphans

For newly orphaned children wandering the streets of Haiti's capital begging for food, it sounds like a dream come true. But agencies trying to evacuate children whose parents died in last week's earthquake have been criticised for bypassing proper adoption processes to rush them to families offering new lives in the West.

Mark Steel: Here's one soldier who told the truth about this war

L/Cpl Glenton's crime was to say we were making matters worse

Suicide bombing kills dozens in Pakistan

A suicide bombing targeting a Shiite Muslim procession in Pakistan's largest city of Karachi killed 30 people and wounded dozens more today, as Shiites across the country marked the key holy day of Ashoura.

Independent Appeal: Safe haven for women beaten and abused in Kashmir

For the past two decades, domestic violence has been a low priority in one of India's most troubled regions. But a bold initiative is now addressing the issue – bringing Hindus and Muslims together, reports Andy Buncombe

Independent Appeal: Beneath the beauty, the most traumatised place in the world

ActionAid, one of our appeal charities, is helping families living with violence in Kashmir

Kashmiri women not murdered, India says

Two Kashmiri women whose deaths sparked anti-Indian protests were not raped or murdered, Indian investigators concluded yesterday.

Andrew Buncombe: A sure way to lose hearts and minds

Kashmir Notebook: Te central Government recently banned pre-paid mobile phone connections in the state

Manmohan Singh: At long last, there is real hope of peace between India and Pakistan

When I came to office in 2004, I had said that our government is committed to having unconditional dialogue with whoever abjures violence. We had discussions with different groups. We had a number of round table conferences. All issues were discussed. We tried to give voice to the demands of all sections of the people. We have implemented a number of initiatives as a result of this process.

Robert Fisk: Obama, man of peace? No, just a Nobel prize of a mistake

The US president received an award in the faint hope that he will succeed in the future. That's how desperate the Middle East situation has become

The day the earth shook : Thousands buried by powerful quakes

British parents lose toddler son as 119 die in Samoan islands tsunami. Death toll from tremors in Indonesia expected to rise sharply

Wish you were here? Asian war zones battle for tourists

Golf in Cambodia? Relaxation in Kashmir? Andrew Buncombe reports on the rebranding of a continent

Badminton team withdraws after terror threat

England have withdrawn from the World Badminton Championships in the Indian city of Hyderabad because of "a specific terrorist threat" against the championships.

Sean Langan: Held hostage and waiting for rescue

The Foreign Office routinely advises the families of kidnap victims not to talk to the press. It's a tall order, says a former captive

Indian police arrested over rape-murder

Four police officers were arrested in Indian Kashmir after being accused of destroying evidence in the rape and murder of two women that triggered weeks of anti-India protests, officials said today.

Economic crisis dominates developing world summit

More than 50 heads of state from the developing world were gathering in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh today to discuss the impact of the global economic meltdown on their nations.

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Barn owls are among species that could be affected
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas