Extras
 

From Furbys to robotic puppies, there are lots of fun, innovative and educational toys in the shops this year. Kate Hilpern picks the ones the kids (and big kids) will love

David Cameron speaks with Angela Merkel at the Meseberg government guest house yesterday

David Cameron in Germany: Prime Minister and Angela Merkel call for urgent action to make EU 'competitive and flexible'

Prime Minister discussed the need for reforms to the single market at the German Chancellor’s guest residence at Schloss Meseberg

Travel Agenda

From Sebastiao Salgado to Scotland's newest castle hotel

The racist menace? Muslims declare victory in fight over ‘anti-Islamic’ Lego

Danish toy giant says production of ‘Jabba’s Palace’ building set was always slated to cease at the end of 2013

Review: Lego City Undercover

Chase McCain's adventure is akin to GTA for kids, as the knowingly clichéd action cop takes to the open world streets as he looks to throw his arch nemesis Rex Fury back behind bars.

A Muslim 'Measure for Measure'? That's one updated version of Shakespeare I'd love to see

Plus: Absurd person singular in Mohsin Hamid's new novel and "feel-good" isn't good enough for Parks and Recreation

Vending machine at the Facebook offices

Gadget-filled vending machines: Want a new keyboard, get the correct change

Vending machines ought to follow high street shops on the conveyor belt of death that is online retail. Yet a growing fondness for anonymous shopping (see also supermarket checkout bots) is giving new life to old tech.

International Women's Day: The week we found out about ‘Keep Calm and Rape A Lot’ t-shirts

Sometimes I find people arguing against the No More Page 3 campaign entertaining, but some things just aren't funny

The 10 Best creative toys

From making snow globes to casting magical shadows on the bedroom wall, here are toys to keep your little ones amused.

Luka Apps with his Jay ZX toys

Consumer affairs: Putting the (n)ice into customer service

As a piece of public relations, it was pretty deft. Seven-year-old Luka Apps from Highworth in Wiltshire had written to Lego's head office after losing his Jay ZX figurine during a post-Christmas shopping trip. "Daddy said to send you an email to see if you will send me another one," he wrote. "I promise I won't take him to the shop again if you can."

The people of Newtown face Christmas after the tragedy

In Newtown, tragedy tinges holiday tradition

The night Andrei Nikitchyuk came home after 20 young students had been killed at his son's school, he pulled out the family's Christmas tree.

A cuddly victory: Furbies push iPad down the Dear Santa list

A talking cuddly electronic pet is the toy most wanted by children this Christmas, judging by the letters posted to Santa Claus.

Black Ops 2 secures all formats top spot for fourth week

Bad week for Nintendo sees sales of Wii U titles drop and Paper Mario: Sticker Star barely register in 40th.

No room for Nintendo Land, Mario Bros. U or ZombiU in Black Ops 2 dominated chart

The week's all formats games chart sees bespoke Wii U games miss out on the top 10

The best Christmas gifts for the tyke

Main image: Spiderman toy, £19.69, and magnetic frame set, £12, both John Lewis

The 10 Best remote-control toys

Here are the hi-tech playthings you’ll be filling stockings up with this Christmas. Just watch your ankles...

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

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When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

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International Tap Festival comes to the UK

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War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

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Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

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BBC heads to the Californian coast

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Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
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Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
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Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

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Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
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Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

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