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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The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star