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.

Muhammad Zafar, right, and his wife Zaheen behind bars

Parents who killed daughter with acid say it was her destiny

A teenage Pakistani girl allegedly murdered by her parents for looking at a boy begged for her life before they doused her with acid. Her mother said it was the girl's “destiny” to die in such a fashion.

Indian hunger striker Irom Sharmila completes 12 years without eating to protest actions of the armed forces in Manipur

Irom Sharmila – who holds the record for the world’s longest hunger-strike – passed another dark milestone in history today when she marked 12 years without eating or drinking.

Former MP Marvi Memon says laws to protect women must be enforced

Parents 'killed daughter with acid for talking to a man’

Alleged murder of Anvu Sha would be latest in string of acid attacks

A barber in Kolkata plies his trade by candlelight; the northern city was one of many hit by the blackout

Second Indian power cut leaves 700m in the dark

Chaos again across large areas of a nation that cannot meet increasing demand for electricity

Fire destroyed a Muslim shrine in Indian-administered Kashmir yesterday

40 injured in anti-India protests after fire destroys Muslim shrine

Fire destroyed a Muslim shrine in Indian-administered Kashmir yesterday, prompting protests against an allegedly slow response by firefighters.

Tea with Terrorists, Brighton Fringe

Tea with Terrorists is the alarming title of Sameena Zehra’s one-woman show and while she does eventually get round to the extraordinary true story of how she once sipped Darjeeling on her porch with a band of armed outlaws, it’s the ramble around her family tree in the preceding hour that really engages.

The Meadow: Kashmir, Where the Terror Began, By Adrian Levy & Cathy Scott-Clark

Barack Obama has pledged to "finish the job" and bring an end to combat in Afghanistan on the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death. But the authors of this book – a veteran investigative reporting duo – suggest that the job is unfinished on the part of the rebels who started a mission of international terror from one corner of the Kashmir hills 17 years ago. Bin Laden may be buried deep beneath the sea, but Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark point out that Masood Azhar, the Pakistani mujahedin leader around whom the central events of this book revolve, is still out there, preaching on YouTube.

Pakistan President visits India on low-profile trip

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari was scheduled to visit India on a private trip today that also gives him a chance to meet Indian leaders amid a thaw in relations between the two South Asian rivals.

Avalanche buries Pakistani soldiers

An avalanche has smashed into a Pakistani army base on a Himalayan glacier along the Indian border, burying around 100 soldiers, the military said.

US offers $10m bounty for militant group's founder

The US has offered a $10m bounty for the founder of the Pakistani militant group blamed for the attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people, a move that could complicate US-Pakistan relations at a tense time.

US offers bounty for Pakistan militant Hafiz Saeed

The United States has offered a $10 million (£6.2 million) bounty for the founder of the Pakistani militant group blamed for the 2008 attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai that killed 166 people, a move that could complicate US-Pakistan relations at a tense time.

Last Night's Viewing: Kidnap and Ransom, ITV1<br />Pramface, BBC3

Kidnap and Ransom began with one of those promissory notes that thrillers are so fond of these days. You saw Trevor Eve in a rowing boat on a lake heaving a body into the waters (he didn't seem unduly worried that anyone might see him). And then a title card reading "Two Weeks Earlier" whisked us back to a bustling Indian city. It was an IOU, essentially, one crucial point being that the exact amount owed is never revealed too early. We don't know who's wrapped in the hessian sacking, or even whether Trevor had anything to do with the fact that he or she isn't in a position to complain about it. We just know that if we stick around for long enough payment will be made. And since there are only three episodes to Michael Crompton's hostage drama, that's not a huge amount to ask.

Extremist gang wanted British recruits for Pakistani terror training camps

A gang of Al Qa'ida inspired extremists were trying to recruit British radicals for terrorist training in  Pakistan, a court heard today.

Peace broken in Kashmir as forces fire on protesters

Killing by security forces outside power station could reignite separatist unrest in disputed region

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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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there