Macau: A mix of Cantonese culture and Portuguese heritage, all played out against a Las Vegas backdrop

It's a rough ride on the flimsy jetfoil which runs between Hong Kong to the tiny peninsula of Macau. And I wonder whether I'm still feeling the effects of the crossing when I clap eyes on a 40-metre high plastic volcano complete with pyrotechnic eruptions. It's flanked by an ersatz Venice Duomo, a concrete Colosseum and a replica Portuguese plaza. This is Fisherman's Wharf, the theme park which opened in 2005 to welcome new arrivals from the ferry terminal. It was seen as a way for the Chinese to put their stamp on Macau – the first European colony in China to be founded. In 1999 it was the last to be given up when it was wrested away from Portuguese administration after 450 years of foreign rule. However, Fisherman's Wharf in Macau is no match for its namesake in San Francisco. The venture isn't an aesthetic success: visitors now have to head a little further inland to see the bricks and mortar of the city's Portuguese heritage.

Westwood eyes return to winning ways

Lee Westwood is anxious to get back on the victory trail at this week’s Ballantine’s Championship in Korea.

Why I Love: Ugly mugs

Carl Davis, composer

Boxing: With weight off his mind, Funtime finally turns pro

Frankie Gavin aims to knock off an eastern bloc after a struggle with the scales

Small Talk: AMZ quick to place its bets on Taiwan casino development

All bets are on in Taiwan, apparently. The island's authorities passed legislation on 12 January, which for the first time allowed for casinos to be opened. Before the ink was dry, the Alternative Investment Market-listed AMZ Holdings, which already owns 27 acres of land in the Penghu Islands region of Taiwan, announced plans to build the country's first Macau-style hotel and casino complex.

Gill warns Premier League must boost global appeal

Manchester United chief executive David Gill has urged the Premier League to continue coming up with innovative ideas to boost the competition's global appeal.

Gill hits back at Benitez

Manchester United chief executive David Gill has hit back at Rafael Benitez following the Liverpool manager's recent verbal tirade against the club.

Macau or bust! Asia's Las Vegas fights the economic crisis

It was hailed as the Vegas of the East. But the casino operators who piled into the Chinese city may have backed a loser

Chinese 'classical poem' was brothel ad

Science journal mistakenly uses flyer for Macau brothel to illustrate report on China

Chinese chef is first to win Michelin three stars

Once upon a time, every Chinese carried a Little Red Book, which provided a recipe for uniformity, dullness and oppression. Another red book, a Big Red Book – the Michelin Guide – exploded its own reputation for culinary parochialism today and promoted a Chinese chef and a Chinese restaurant into the pantheon of international cuisine for the first time.

Dylan Jones: The vibrancy of Hong Kong is extraordinary

Talk Of The Town

Degale sounds warning after making final

James Degale sailed into the Olympic middleweight final in Beijing today then warned amateur boxing chiefs the nation's top stars could quit over the political in-fighting in the sport.

Suspension undermines boxing team

Britain’s boxers are angrily claiming a low blow to their Beijing hopes by their own governing body ahead of their most crucial Olympic challenge in 36 years.

GB holding camp: These Games are the biggest gamble sport will ever face

Worries over betting syndicates, drug cheats and rings of security – but little sense of fun

Inside Macau: Red-carpet treatment for privileged Paula

Team Radcliffe are on their way to join Britain's band of happy campers on an island more used to accommodating sybarites than sporting types. When Paula, husband and coach Gary, daughter Isla, mum, dad and personal physio fly into Macau today she will find her team-mates on the last leg of their pre-Games preparations. But some may wonder if she is being afforded special treatment by being allowed to having her entire entourage with her as she attempts to win her fitness race against a stress fracture and compete in the marathon. Dave Collins, the UK Athletics performance director, insists he has no qualms about this, or that if necessary Radcliffe will be given until the eve of the race to claim a place. "With proven performance comes privilege," he says, "and Paula is an exceptionally talented athlete who should be given every opportunity to do what she feels is best for herself. If you asked Alex Ferguson I'm sure he'd give one of his star players right up to the kick-off to try and pass a fitness test. When you have an athlete of her quality this has to be the case."

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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
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Panto dames: before and after

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Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

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Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

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The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

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The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

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Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

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From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

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