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

Something To Declare: Sydney; The East Coast main line; Kuala Lumpur in Comfort

Where to go, how to save, what to avoid

Owen is the predator we need, says Giggs

Ferguson's 'punt' looks to be paying off as striker continues to score goals

Once Upon a Time in England, By Helen Walsh

Warrington in the 1970s: Robbie is an Irish singer with a big voice, moderately successful on the club circuit – but not successful enough to give up his job at the factory. He is married to Susheela, a Tamil beauty from Kuala Lumpur; they met when Susheela, a nurse, tended to Robbie when he came to hospital with a broken nose.

United call off match after attack

Indonesia tour questioned after bombing of hotel where champions were due to stay

Manchester United team 36 hours away from tragedy

Manchester support staff were already at the Ritz Carlton in Jakarta and the team were 36 hours from checking in when the hotel's facade was torn away by a suspected suicide bomber. It did not take long for the Premier League champions to cancel their three-day visit to the city.

Manchester United sign Diouf from Molde

Manchester United have signed promising striker Mame Biram Diouf from Molde.

Vidic sits out tour

Nemanja Vidic was missing from the Manchester United squad that headed out to Malaysia this afternoon for the first leg of a four-match Far East tour.

Will the release of secret documents allow the real story of the Batang Kali massacre to be told?

Malaya, 1948. In one of the most controversial incidents in British military history, 24 unarmed civilians were killed by a platoon of Scots Guards. Now the release of secret documents means the real story may be told at last

Giovanni Bisignani: Flight path to survival

The Business Interview: The worse the crisis for airlines, the bigger the opportunity to make governments let them behave like normal businesses, says the Iata director general

Britain's airline regime under attack

Airline industry attacks airport charges and taxes as it forecasts $9bn annual loss

Global gigs planned to celebrate 250 years of Guinness

Hip hop favourites Black Eyed Peas and rockers Kasabian are among music stars lining up for a clutch of global concerts to toast 250 years of Guinness this autumn.

Malaysian court rejects ruling party's takeover

A Malaysian court announced today that the ruling coalition unlawfully ousted the chief minister of a state previously governed by the opposition in a major blow to the new prime minister's efforts to consolidate power.

60 years on, Malaya 'massacre' by British troops to be investigated

Ministers have bowed to legal action and agreed to reinvestigate the alleged massacre of 24 unarmed villagers by British soldiers in Malaya more than 60 years ago.

Pirates release cargo ship, says UN

Somali pirates have released a Lebanese-owned cargo ship seized last week as it headed to pick up food aid for Africa, a UN spokesman said today.

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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'