News Gerard is one of the younger residents of James Turner Street in Winson Green

The West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner has been a James Turner Street landlady for almost 12 years

Travel: Passport - 'Being a VIP gives you no special treatment'

My latest project has been the making of Planet Ustinov, a TV film in which Sir Peter Ustinov travels along the same route as Mark Twain did in his book, Following the Equator.

West is urged to waive debt

RICH NATIONS should consider writing off the debt of Central American nations devastated by Hurricane Mitch, Emma Bonino, Europe's Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, said yesterday.

Navy sent to aid Honduras

IT WAS the sort of news kids love to hear, but it is a further blow for battered Honduras. The government announced yesterday that all schools and colleges will be closed well into next year as a result of Hurricane Mitch. Hundreds of schools and colleges were destroyed, or are under water or mud after the storm rampaged through this Central American nation last week. Those education centres that survived are now providing shelter for hundreds of thousands of people who lost their homes.

Fishing Lines: Bitten by the land of Knud

WHENEVER I am seasick, I think of Knud Holst. It was on his boat in Ecuador that I enjoyed eight merry hours of seasickness. It was like dying, only worse. Knud was very sympathetic. He offered me a bloodstained, fish-smelling towel to rest my head on as I lay inert. A nice gesture, though it didn't do a lot for my seasickness.

Television Reviews: Hooked and Horizon

I GAVE UP eating sweets in 1976 (ugly threats from a sadistic dentist), so Hooked (C4), focusing on the addictive qualities of chocolate, was a bit outside my experience. Beautiful elderly ladies confessed to a lifelong habit while the kindly tones of the ubiquitous Zoe Wannamaker gave us the history of British chocolate. This involved a lot of monochrome Playschool-style footage of enrobing machines churning out chocolate bars and shots of old Cadbury's wrappers. The cheap commodities of the Empire provided puddings for all: sago, tapioca and chocolate, which, until then, had been an exotic luxury. Manufacturers evolved an ingeniously complex message that sold it as a guilty but wholesome pleasure. Women, easy prey to a strategy that played on chocolate's dual role as a reward and a compensation, were particularly susceptible. Men soon got wise to this and the box of chocs became a commonplace payment for little sexual favours ("the boxes that single ladies get and that married ones dream of!").

Travel Long Haul: Things are stirring in the swamp

Florida's Everglades are a haven of indigenous culture and rare wildlife, but don't forget the mosquito repellent.

Science: The Truth About... Amber

AMBER HAS been admired for its golden hues since time immemorial. It is only in recent years, however, that the wider public has become aware of its unique fossil-preserving features, thanks to Hollywood's Jurassic Park, which depicted the fictional extraction of dinosaur DNA from a mosquito trapped and preserved in amber for millions of years.

The last laugh came all too soon

City Life NEW DELHI

Just another manic Tuesday

Fishing Lines

Study to offer first full view of global warming

WILL global warming be good for Essex, one thing weighed against another? We may soon have a shrewd idea. For the full picture of what climate change may do to Britain is to be assembled in what the Government says is the first study of its kind in the world.

Britain declares war on malaria

THE Government will today launch a multi-million pound global programme to combat malaria as part of a drive which could eliminate the deadly disease in 30 years.

Much to be thankful for but much to do in the parish of St Kizitu

In the first of a series of articles before the G8 meeting in Birmingham, Paul Vallely reports on Third World debt

Letter: Mosquito bikes

THERE is nothing "green" about those motorcycles that can be heard screaming like a swarm of angry mosquitoes from at least a mile away. If government is to listen to the bikers' lobby and make changes to the law to encourage the use of motorcycles (photograph, 1 April) then it must also outlaw the machines that make our lives a misery. Noise can be as damaging to health as other sources of environmental pollution.

Travel: I searched India for the meaning of life, and then I discovered first class

COP A load of this: I am writing from a moving Indian train. Even as I type this sentence,the baking, dusty plains of central India are shuddering past my window. The tea-wallah has scarcely raised an eyebrow. How the world has changed in the last 15 years.
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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 15 May 2015
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests