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

Philippine Muslim rebel faction rejects talks

A rogue Muslim rebel commander in the Philippines has formed a separate faction of several hundred fighters and rejected peace talks to end the decades-long secessionist rebellion, leaders of the guerrillas today.

Joseph Conrad's Malaysia: Cruise exotic cross-currents of food and culture

My purest Joseph Conrad moment in Malaysia came after a dawn flight from the island of Penang down the coast of the peninsula to Kuala Lumpur. Half-awake, I stumbled into the KL arrivals hall to find it a sea of white robes. The crowd trailed cardboard monoliths of baggage tied in string: they were hajjis, just returned from Mecca.

Unveiled: Work by Anthony Burgess suppressed for years

The exclusive Malaysian school where the author taught finally allows his ode to be performed

Deborah Ross: Office workers have the things I yearn for

If you ask me... I yearn to use the post and the telephone and the photocopier for personal reasons.

Base-jumping Austrian to break sound barrier – if he can take off

In a world that has been comprehensively conquered from Pole to Pole, where younger explorers successfully scale our tallest peaks each year, and where satellites have mapped every last square kilometre of our planet, there are few truly outrageous challenges left to overcome.

Halal cosmetics scent the sweet smell of success

Beauty products produced without alcohol or pork are beginning to appeal to women who want Islamic ethics with their eyeliner

Base jumpers hurl themselves off Kuala Lumpur Tower

Leaping off the Kuala Lumpur Tower from more than 1,000 feet off the ground isn't for everyone but for Daniel Witchalls it's pretty much just another day at the office.

Open Jaw: Alan Whicker at 84

Where readers write back

Nathan Robertson: 'I'm going to the Games – it's not ideal but I've seen this before'

I have never had any doubts about going to Delhi for the Commonwealth Games. I've seen things like this happen before. At the Athens Olympics in 2004 venues were still being finished and painted. I remember walls were being put up during the competition.

Reality show concludes hunt for 'ultimate young imam'

An Islamic reality TV show that made its contestants counsel promiscuous teenagers and bury corpses has named a mosque prayer leader as Malaysia's top role model for young Muslims.

Malaysia: Discover Asia's secret shores

Far from the cosmopolitan bustle of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's east coast offers secluded islands, tranquil beaches and dramatic rainforest – all at bargain prices

300 tortoises seized at airport

Tortoises may move slowly, but even a little movement can be a lifesaver. Customs staff at Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur International Airport noticed something stirring in two bags and discovered 301 tortoises hidden amid shredded paper.

Before I Sleep, Old Co-op Building, Brighton Festival

There's a sign at the end of Dreamthinkspeak's new work, a promenade piece in a defunct department store, which implores the departing audience not to tell others about the contents of the show lest they give too much away.

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On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
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