Sport A snowboarder flies through the center ring of the Olympic Rings, triggering an explosion of snow and ice off the rings during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

Almaty, Krakow, Lviv and Oslo are the others hoping to stage the games

Rafael Benitez

Top-four finish priority for Chelsea confirms chief executive Ron Gourlay

The Blues remain in the Europa League and FA Cup

Shinji Kagawa

Manchester United playmaker Shinji Kagawa wins inaugural Asian Player of the Year award

Japanese playmaker Shinji Kagawa won the inaugural Asian Football Confederation (AFC) International Player-of-the-Year award today.

Laura Robson and Heather Watson, the British No 1 and No 2, both won their opening qualifying matches in Beijing

Laura Robson and Heather Watson on course for China Open

Laura Robson and Heather Watson, the British No 1 and No 2, both won their opening qualifying matches in Beijing yesterday to move within one victory of places in the main draw for next week's China Open. Robson beat Spain's Garbine Muguruza (the world No 106) 6-3, 6-3, while Watson beat China's Ran Tian (world No 561) 7-5, 6-2.

Jack Wilshere hasn’t played now for almost exactly a year

Wilshere says he could be back in action next month

The Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is still hopeful of returning to action by the end of August, despite the latest gloomy update from Arsene Wenger that the player's comeback is still so far off that he cannot even put a date on when he may play for the club again.

OUT INJURED: Jack Wilshere (pictured), Michael Dawson, Chris Smalling, Tom Huddlestone, Jack Rodwell

Jack Wilshere says he could be back in action for Arsenal next month

The Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is still hopeful of returning to action by the end of August, despite the latest gloomy update from Arsene Wenger that the player's comeback is still so far off that he cannot even put a date on when he may play for the club again.

Kaneria's ban goes global

International Cricket Council nations has agreed in principle to enforce on a worldwide basis Danish Kaneria's life ban for corruption.

Sri Lanka seal victory over Pakistan in the first Test yesterday

ICC reinforces DRS but India still resist

Game's most powerful nation expresses doubts over system, so finding global sponsor unlikely

Sugong, By Nick Hurst

David Carradine's role as a Shaolin warrior monk in the early-Seventies American TV series Kung Fu sparked an interest in martial arts in the West, but few had the discipline to keep going.

Shard's WSP is snapped up by Canadian rival for £278m

WSP, the engineering consultancy that did the structural design on London's Shard tower, has agreed to be snapped up by Genivar, a smaller Canadian counterpart for C$442m (£278m) in cash.

Tear gas used as 25,000 rally for Malaysia reforms

Police unleashed tear gas and chemical-laced water today at thousands of demonstrators who staged one of Malaysia's largest street rallies in years, demanding fair rules for national elections expected soon.

Oosthuizen bounces back

Louis Oosthuizen produced the perfect response to his play-off defeat at the Masters by winning the Malaysian Open yesterday.

Louis Oosthuiz shines on opening day of Malaysian Open

South African Louis Oosthuizen shrugged off the disappointment of his Masters play-off defeat to Bubba Watson to make a strong start at the Malaysian Open today.

Hamza Kashgari was arrested while making his way to New Zealand

Saudi journalist left facing the death penalty over Twitter posts

Extradition goes ahead for newspaper columnist accused of blasphemy against the Prophet

Mark Thompson: The BBC director general has ordered an end to the practice of acquiring news programmes for 'low or nominal cost' after the BBC admitted breaches of its editorial guidelines and buying documentaries

BBC to issue global apology for documentaries that broke rules

Independent revealed programmes were made by third-party in pay of governments and firms

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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable