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There is strong evidence that the overall gender ratio is significantly different from the background ratio in the case of UK parents born in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Nepal seeks legal cover for shawl that conquered the world

Foreign rivals put pressure on the original pashmina

Haiti's cholera misery: 5,000 dead – and UN peacekeepers to blame

Report likely to raise tensions in earthquake-ravaged nation

'Missing' Nepalese choir turns up – after three days

A Nepalese male voice choir, whose disappearance left organisers of a Cornish music festival scratching their heads and sparked a Home Office investigation, was last night finally set to honour its commitment to sing.

Nepalese singers vanish at Heathrow

A Nepalese choir due to perform in Cornwall has disappeared after landing at Heathrow.

Rhinos are on the rise after surviving war and poachers in Nepal

Nepal's population of endangered rhinos appears to be growing after years of decline caused by a debilitating civil war and widespread poaching, new figures show.

12 killed in protest at UN office

Eight foreigners and four Afghan protesters have been killed when a demonstration against the burning of a Quran turned violent.

Travel By Numbers: Holi Festival

The vivid colours of India explode more brilliantly than ever this weekend, as this vibrant Hindu festival begins. By Laura Holt

Report urges preparation for large urban disasters

The world should expect to have to cope with three to five big urban disasters in the next 10 years, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has warned.

No Smoking: Monk jailed for three years in Bhutan

The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, famed for its unspoilt natural beauty and social policy of gross national happiness, found itself at the centre of bitter controversy yesterday after a Buddhist monk caught carrying tobacco worth under £2 was jailed for three years.

The Big Six: Himalayan Retreats

New Nepalese leader elected at 17th attempt

The Nepalese Parliament has elected Jhalanath Khanal, chairman of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal, as its new Prime Minister, seven months after the last government resigned amid sometimes violent protests.

Where the weird things are: The gharial - a croc with a knobbly nose

This bizarre crocodilian from northern India, is hardly the killer that Mr Dundee brags about. Granted, it looks the real deal: big tail, knobbly back, the works. But those skinny jaws are like some Toy Story nightmare – as though an evil child has replaced the head with pliers.

Charles honours Gurkha soldiers

The Prince of Wales paid tribute today to Gurkha soldiers who were killed and horrifically injured in a hard-fought tour of Afghanistan.

Himalayan kingdom throws open its doors to gay tourists

Gay rights activists in Nepal are hoping to attract up to 200,000 pink tourists this year as the Himalayan nation seeks to boost its coffers after years of political instability.

All aboard the river mild: White-water rafting in the wilds of Nepal doesn't have to be terrifying

"Does this rapid have a name?" I asked, not entirely convinced I wanted to know the answer. A smile spread across my rafting guide's face as the foaming white water approached. "This one," he said, "is too insignificant."

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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