News

Actor took on three armed soldiers who had surrounded star and crew while they were filming later series of Extreme World 3

Britain last week postponed plans to introduce plain packaging on cigarettes

'No excuse' to delay plain cigarette packs after new study, say campaigners

Research among 500 Australian smokers has shown that smokers find cigarettes in plain packs less appealing

Root six and six: England’s Joe Root hits Steve Smith for one of two sixes in three balls on his way to an unbeaten 178

Ashes 2013: Joe Root revives memories of Len Hutton with unbeaten ton as Australia crumble

Opener becomes second-youngest Yorkshireman to score an Ashes century as England take total command

Kevin Pietersen

Ashes 2013: Kevin Pietersen ruled out of the rest of second Test putting Old Trafford participation into question

Batsman could miss third Test which gets underway on August 1 after he suffers a calf strain

Ashton Agar is run out by England’s James Anderson

Ashes 2013: Appalling Australians fall apart but England join second Test carnage

England close on 31 for 3 - a lead of 264

Michael Clarke (left) and Shane Watson are all friends in the slips at Trent Bridge

Ashes 2013: Brad Haddin insists there is 'no feud' between Michael Clarke and Shane Watson

Former coach Mickey Arthur claims there is unrest in the camp

Four dead as boat carrying asylum seekers capsizes in Indian Ocean

Hundreds have died making the journey from Indonesia to Christmas Island and the Australian mainland in recent years

Rogers, over and out: James Anderson celebrates Chris Rogers’ wicket

It was my finest innings in Ashes Tests, says Ian Bell

Batsman confident of victory after his century puts hosts in command

Ashes 2013: Controversial umpiring makes for interesting viewing at the Ashes

A compelling start to the Investec Ashes has been overshadowed somewhat by umpiring controversies.

The controversial end of Jonathan Trott

Ashes 2013: England ask for clarification over Jonathan Trott dismissal

The issue was muddied by the absence of side-on 'hotspot' technology

Kevin Pietersen (third left) warms up with his England teammates

Ashes 2013: Alastair Cook's England can bank on experience for hat-trick

Comparison between the two sides shows that England should have the batting strength to win a third series in a row

Robbie Deans: The Wallabies coach is expected to be sacked after five years in charge

British and Irish Lions 2013: Australia waste little time in making head coach Robbie Deans the scapegoat, with Ewen McKenzie lined up as successor

Robbie Deans’ failure to lead Australia to a series win over the British and Irish Lions was last night expected to result in the coach’s sacking. Ewen McKenzie was lined up to be named as Deans’ successor.

Spinner Fawad Ahmed clear to represent Australia in Ashes after receiving full citizenship

Spinner Fawad Ahmed admits he could not have dreamt of the chance to represent Australia in the Ashes when he fled from Pakistan.

James Horwill’s foot was said only to have glanced Alun Wyn Jones

Lions Tour 2013: Stamp ban storm hits Wallabies' Test hopes

IRB appeals James Horwill 'let-off' and replaces Kiwi hearing judge with British-Canadian

Head to head: Joe Root and Nick Compton

Weight of hope and expectation crushes Nick Compton's Ashes dream

Batsman waited decade for his Test chance but then appeared too eager to take it

England's Johnathan Trott runs between the wickets as South African captain AB Devilliers (second right) looks on during the One Day International (ODI) ICC Champions Trophy Semi-final cricket match (AFP)

Champions Trophy: The tournament and players that have proved their critics wrong

The underappreciated and unloved have had two weeks to remember

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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