Travel Vibrant Guangzhou

Adjust your body clock and explore an exciting city en route, says Simon Calder

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

Late November into early December is traditionally the quietest period in the travelling calendar, which is why tour operators, hotels and transport providers often release some of their best deals around about now.

Man in court over 'plot to blow up aircraft'

A Muslim man accused of plotting with the ringleader of a conspiracy to launch suicide attacks upon transatlantic passenger aircraft told a court today he wrote a school essay on joining al-Qa'ida because he "liked to push the boundaries".

The Big Six: Indian Ocean villas

From Creole style and contemporary opulence to a five-bedroom villa that is ideal for guests who don't want to share the sand with anyone else...

Last Chance to See, By Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine

In his foreword to this new edition (published on the back of Carwardine's TV series with Stephen Fry), Richard Dawkins observes perceptively that Douglas Adams' comic style is similar and not inferior to that of PG Wodehouse – evidenced by such similes as "When the rhino moved a leg, just slightly, huge muscles moved easily under its heavy skin, like Volkswagens parking." But Adams could write seriously, too (it seems he did most of the actual writing, with Carwardine supplying zoological expertise): the chapter on the komodo dragon is as good a piece of reportage as George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant".

Joan Smith: Semenya's violation is sport's shame

Scrutiny of the athlete's physique is distasteful

Tips and deals: 06/09/2009

The exhibition

A new show of Renoir's later works opens in Paris on 23 September at the Grand Palais. VFB are offering two nights in the French capital from £174 including travel, accommodation, and entry to the exhibition. Go to vfbholidays.co.uk

South Africans show Semenya support

New 800 metres world champion Caster Semenya received a rousing welcome after touching down in Johannesburg with her South African team-mates today.

The Complete Guide To: Mauritius

Beyond the pristine beaches and clear waters of this far-flung Indian Ocean island you can discover a seductive mix of cultures, countryside, mountains and wildlife.

Vince Powell: Prolific sitcom writer who co-created 'Love Thy Neighbour' and 'Bless This House'

With Harry Driver, Vince Powell formed one of British television's most prolific and successful sitcom writing partnerships.

Lee Mears' Lions Diary: A front-row view of the gouging debate

The inside story of the South Africa tour in an exclusive column from the Bath, England & Lions hooker

Ukip surfs the rising tide of protest in South

Nigel Farage's party lost two of its MEPs to scandal, but it doesn't seem to matter in the stockbroker belt, Andy McSmith reports

Hummingbird discovered in 2005 close to extinction

It was only discovered in 2005 – and now it has been added to the list of the world's most endangered birds.

My Life In Travel: Nina Wadia

'I remember Belgium for the statues of the little boys peeing'

Peak season: Indian Ocean adventures in La Réunion

On parts of the island of La Réunion, you could be in Paris. Elsewhere in this astounding, volcano-blasted landscape, you could be on another planet
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk
Nepal earthquake: One man's desperate escape from Everest base camp after the disaster

Escape from Everest base camp

Nick Talbot was sitting in his tent when the tsunami of snow and rock hit. He was lucky to live, unlike his climbing partner just feet away...
Adopting high fibre diet could dramatically cut risk of bowel cancer, says study

What happened when 20 Americans swapped diets with 20 Africans?

Innovative study in the US produces remarkable results
Blake Lively and 'The Age of Adaline': Gossip Girl comes
of age

Gossip girl comes of age

Blake Lively is best known for playing an affluent teenager. Her role as a woman who is trapped forever at 29 is a greater challenge
Goat cuisine: Kid meat is coming to Ocado

Goat cuisine

It's loved by chefs, ethical, low in fat and delicious. So, will kid meat give lamb a run for its money?
14 best coat hooks

Hang on: 14 best coat hooks

Set the tone for the rest of your house with a stylish and functional coat rack in the hallway
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?