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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss