News The photo that the mother of a suicide victim sends along with his ashes to strangers so her thrill-seeking son can fulfill his dream of travelling the world

Hundreds of strangers on Facebook have helped Hallie Twomey with her mission

Gardening: Flowering tearjerker

Alliums - decorative onions - are splendid plants for the border, writes Kirsty Fergusson, but be sure to hide their ugly ankles

Letter: Top to bottom

Top to bottom

Everest Diary: Dingboche, Nepal: With Houdini helping, I break my own record

THE GREAT Houdini yesterday took me to a personal altitude record in our expedition's preparation for the oxygen-thin air of Mount Everest.

A gentle evangelist takes Irish dream to the top of the world

Everest Diary; Khumjung, Nepal

Football mania has a lot to answer for

the trouble with boys

A bag of sugar: the acid test for Italian virility

Italian men show a rare enthusiasm for sex - or at least those who agreed to test a new drug for impotence did.

Stand on top of the world. (For a price)

If you have the cash (about pounds 24,000 in Everest's case), you can be guided up almost any mountain in the world. Great, says Mark Dudley

My holiday? I'm off to Greece, to put Socrates right

In my cybersuit I could ski in the Congo or smoke a joint in Singapore

Seven feared dead on Everest

Mount Everest has claimed seven more victims, mountaineers said yesterday after the climbers were caught by a blizzard near the summit of the world's tallest mountain.

Everest climbers feared dead

Everest climbers feared dead

They're going back to Mars - but they won't be looking for life

A fter a gap of 20 years, we're on our way back to Mars. On 6 November, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) will lift off from Cape Canaveral on a Delta launch vehicle; a month later, Mars Pathfinder will follow. Both probes have been planned for years, and are definitely not a knee- jerk reaction to the possible discovery of a microfossil in a Martian meteorite. In fact, neither probe is able to look for microfossils, although they are equipped to perform an otherwise impressive range of tasks.

Boro find cold comfort as Dons are denied

FOOTBALL

The last great challenge on earth: but will the best man win?

Antarctic adventurer left at the starting gate as sponsors melt away

Bath without the tourists

Edmund Bealby-Wright discovers the pleasures of the historic spa town's unfashionable country relation, Frome

A chilly outpost of the Solar System that mimics Earth

Titan could be an analogue for our own planet, new pictures suggest.
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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
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
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there