Ageing hitman 'may spend rest of life in jail'

An ageing hitman who thought he would get away with the "perfect murder" was today told he was likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

£30,000 hitman found guilty of murder

A swimming world record holder who became a contract killer after blowing a fortune on a flamboyant lifestyle in Thailand is facing life in jail today.

The City Diary: TUI Travel: The strange case of the exploding boat reaches the High Court

Slackbelly exposes the good, the bad, and the ugly of the square mile

Click, pack and go: our pick of the week's deals

No sooner had Nadal claimed his Wimbledon trophy and the World Cup edged towards its finale… than the first email landed in the travel inbox about Christmas 2010. Are we really thinking about that time already? It seems that those of us that are could be rewarded with some good deals.

My Life In Travel: Ralf Little, actor

'Jamaica is the most magical place'

Tips and deals of the week: 13/06/2010

Take a punt on Cambridge

Try the new Punting and Picnic Package at Doubletree by Hilton in Cambridge from £65.95, including picnic and one hour's punt hire.

Go to doubletreecambridge.com

24-Hour Room Service: Alila Villas Hadahaa, Republic of Maldives

In the inventory of travel luxury, the resorts jostling for position in the Maldivian chapter would probably vary only by tiny degrees of exclusivity. After all, perfect sands, clear waters and stilted bungalows are (almost) standard here, and most such barefoot retreats are to be found on tiny atolls just a short boat ride or sea plane ride from the capital and international jumping-off point, Male.

Jonathan Heawood: The act of extreme desperation

The new government has an opportunity to put prisoners back at the heart of its human rights policy

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, By Alain de Botton

Work looms large in the lives of most of us, but has always been strangely under-represented in literature. This book goes some way to remedying that deficit. In a series of wry, poignant essays, Alain de Botton examines the work that goes into planting a tree, building a pylon, marketing an invention and designing a biscuit.

RAF jets return to skies after ash alert

The RAF's Typhoon Eurofighters took to the skies again today after tests showed volcanic ash found in engines caused no damage.

Best international politician: Mohamed Nasheed

In a catastrophic year for the climate crisis, were there any heroes? At Copenhagen, world leaders gathered to peer at the swelling evidence that we are close to irreparably trashing the planet's biosphere – and they offered a glib shrug. From the US to the EU to China, nobody offered to cut carbon emissions by the levels scientists say are necessary to stay this side of the climate's Point of No Return. Since then, there has been a regression into denialism across the world. The search for wise leaders in this is difficult, but a handful of politicians will be remembered for trying to do the right thing.

24-Hour Room Service: One&Only Cape Town

The visual drama is compelling. As you walk into this flamboyant property your eyes are drawn to a breathtaking view of Table Mountain framed in a three-storey picture window. Then a tremendous sense of space across the tall, wide lobby and lounge area becomes apparent, the main feature being a circular cocktail bar oozing glamour right in front of that window.

Leave only your footprints

Today's travellers have a range of responsible holiday choices. Aoife O'Riordain reports

Byers, Hoon and Hewitt suspended from party

Former ministers have whip withdrawn over lobbying claims
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Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
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Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
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Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
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footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
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Day In a Page

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
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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