Travel

Springtime, just before the new century began. As Laos is now the new Cambodia, Vietnam was then the new Thailand, and my girlfriend and I had arrived – with our backpacks – to see what all the fuss was about. The capital Hanoi had dazzled, and we were due to take the train 420 miles down the coast to Hué. We were late, though. We were always late.

Good Morning, Luang Prabang – and hello to Laos's film industry

There are so many movies being produced these days that the premiere of most films hardly merits a second look. But in Laos there is cause for genuine excitement. Thirty-three years after the communist government overthrew the king and seized power, the south-east Asian nation has just produced its first privately funded movie, Good Morning, Luang Prabang.

Help your chicks as they fly solo

News of derring-do by children abroad worries most parents. Hold your nerve, says Anne McHardy

Travel: Tales of the riverbank

Ian Gardener had the bright idea of going by bike and boat to the source of the Mekong. Or so he thought

Parents fly to Briton attacked in Australia

THE PARENTS of a British backpacker, lying critically injured in hospital after being brutally attacked in Australia, were making plans yesterday to fly out to his bedside.

Striped rabbit found in Laos

BIOLOGISTS HAVE identified an unknown species of striped rabbit with a red rump in the mountain forests of Laos and Vietnam, an area that has already seen the discovery of a range of previously unrecorded mammals in recent years.

Books: Babylonian orgiastic uproar meets poverty

The Trouble With Tigers: The Rise and Fall of South East Asia

Tennis: Robinson punishes two British prospects

PAUL ROBINSON broke Greg Rusedski's mighty serve twice before losing in the men's singles semi-finals at the National Championships two years ago. Yesterday, Robinson advanced to the quarter-finals after deciding that playing in Shropshire was preferable to "sitting around doing nothing in Sweden when I had the week off from coaching".

LITERALLY LOST: 49

Competition

The Ottawa Convention is a minefield in itself

AMID THE punditry surrounding the first anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, assertions have been made that the international landmines ban to which she lent her very public support is something of a sham. This was, at least, the view taken by John Sweeney in his documentary, Diana: The Wrong Crusade?, screened on Wednesday on Channel 4, in which the message was clear: don't worry about banning the sale of mines, just try to clear the minefields.

US military 'used nerve gas'

THE United States used deadly nerve gas in top secret operations during the Vietnam War, CNN and Time magazine reported yesterday.

The century in photographs: 98 for 98 - Today 1970

The Independent's photo-history reaches the 1970s. This frank interpretation of the Truman doctrine, photographed in an American position during the invasion of Cambodia, may have been the popular reaction to Communist expansion, but US and South Vietnamese forces were finding it harder than ever to put theory into practice in South East Asia.

Travel: Welcome to Laos, and remember not to wander too far from the paths

This beautiful, tragic country has the distinction of being the most bombed place on earth. It's also difficult to get into, but it's worth the effort, says Gareth Lloyd

Secret war still claims lives in Laos

Twenty-five years after US raids stopped, unexploded bombs continue to kill and maim
Sport
Brazilian fans watch the match for third place between Brazil and Netherlands
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: Dutch pile on the misery in third place playoff
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
Arts and Entertainment
books The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
News
Harry Styles is not quitting One Direction, his management says
booksManagement confirms that rumours singer is going it alone are false
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Career Services

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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?