News Gigi Chao pictured with her father, Cecil

Property tycoon Cecil Chao Sze-tsung first offered £40 million after his daughter Gigi Chao entered into a civil partnership

Hockey: England get a bronze boost in Malaysia

England defeated South Korea 2-1 to claim bronze at the World League in Malaysia on Sunday.

Bjorn Hansen lifts Stena Match Cup trophy for the third time

In a fairytale comeback that had the home crowd whooping and hollering, Bjorn Hansen turned 0-2 into 3-2 in the final of the Stena Match Cup Sweden, lifting the trophy for the third time in a long career.

Stena Match Cup: Knocked-out Ian Williams forced to sit by and watch semi-finalists race in Marstrand's sunshine and good winds

Ian Williams is not a happy man. The reigning world match race champion and his Team GAC Pindar crashed out of the Stena Match Cup at the quarter-final stage and then had to watch as the semi-finalists enjoyed brilliant, even testing breezes.

Gordon Brown's activist sister-in-law Clare Rewcastle Brown denied entry to Malaysian state

Clare Rewcastle Brown has spear-headed a campaign against corruption in the state of Sarawak

Sebastian Vettel (right) and Mark Webber have fallen out frequently as team-mates at Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel gives his full approval for Kimi Raikkonen to replace Mark Webber as his team-mate at Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel has made it clear that he would accept Kimi Raikkonen as his team-mate at Red Bull next season instead of Mark Webber. Though he made a light-hearted response to the inquiry – "I think nobody could have a problem with Kimi as team-mate, except for [Sergio] Perez" – his humour masked the deteriorating relationship with the Australian driver after five years in the same team.

The Indonesian President has apologised for the record-setting pollution caused by forest fires in his country

Indonesian President says sorry to Singapore for fires that have bathed city in toxic fog

The Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has apologised to Singapore and Malaysia for the record-setting pollution caused by forest fires in his country.

Singapore smog gets worse - can chemically induced rain clear the air?

Governments in south-east Asia meet to discuss growing crisis and people are warned to remain indoors

Rupert Murdoch wants top clubs including Manchester United and Chelsea to compete in new tournament

Idea comes after Fox lose rights to Premier League football in the US

Tan Twan Eng wins Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction with The Garden of Evening Mists

Tan Twan Eng has won the £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction with The Garden of Evening Mists, beating double Man Booker winner Hilary Mantel to the title.

Sailing: Britain's defending world match racing champion loses sudden death playoff in Korea Cup

Britain’s defending world match racing champion slipped to third in the 2013 standings after losing the sudden death third place playoff in the Korea Cup to New Zealand’s Adam Minoprio.

British woman killed in Malaysia after being hit by motorboat's propellers while snorkelling 'outside safe swimming zone'

Madaline Cole suffered extensive injuries to her body and legs and died before reaching hospital

Battersea Power Station project gains $1bn sales

The developers of Battersea Power Station broke through the $1bn (£660m) sales barrier yesterday amid “phenomenal” interest in new flats and townhouses at the London landmark.

Bill Oddie: Why I was chucked out of HSBC headquarters over Bankwatch film

At first, I barely even noticed the oil palm plantation. For first timers it’s not what you would initially associate with deforestation

Phil Ivey, from Las Vegas, is thought to be the world's sixth-highest
earner from punto banco tournaments

Poker’s Tiger Woods Phil Ivey sues British casino for £7.3m in winnings

A global gambling star known as the “Tiger Woods of poker” is suing Britain’s oldest casino for refusing to pay him £7.3m in winnings.

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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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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