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

Simon Calder's Helpdesk: Have I been overcharged for this minor Emirates booking change?

Q. I booked an Emirates flight to Durban online, with what I was told was a special fare as I am a Skywards member. I chose the departure from Manchester at 2.10pm as our usual departure time of 9pm was not shown on the schedule. This meant a 10-hour wait at Dubai.

Simon Calder's Helpdesk: Can you clear up a disagreement over International Driving Permits in California?

Q. Can you clear something up for me please, a colleague is insisting that I need to purchase an International Driving Permit to drive in California; I have been going to California for nigh on 20 years and I have a full picture driving licence which has always been sufficient. Would you recommend getting an IDP for the future? It seems a bit of a money-making racket to me.

Ed Dunham

Simon Calder's Helpdesk: Other than Paris, any ideas for a city break where I can take my daughter?

Q. Simon, it's my daughter's 21st birthday in late August, I'd like to take her on a city break to somewhere not too expensive to get to but which will give her great memories. By the way, we've been to Paris.

Sarah Gee

Simon Calder's Helpdesk: Can I avoid immigration queues in the US?

Q. I have flight to New York JFK from Bristol via Dublin in July. You said on Saturday that JFK is among the worst in America for long immigration queues. Can I avoid them, and can you point to a web link to show what we do at Dublin?

Patrick Mason, Taunton

Simon Calder's Helpdesk: How much do I need to worry about the scary advice on Quito in Ecuador?

Q. We've booked to go to Quito in Ecuador, but the advice from the FCO is scary to say the least. Can you advise?

Mike Pennick, Hindhead, Surrey

Cutting edge: Joe Root slashes the ball through the off side to the dismay of wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum at Lord’s

England v New Zealand (First Test, day three) report: Joe Root grows in stature to sow seeds of revival

England 232 & 180-6 v New Zealand 207: Yorkshire batsman brings England back into the first Test with gutsy innings but late flurry of wickets also offers Kiwis hope of victory, writes Stephen Brenkley at Lord’s

Aussie Trent Waterhouse led Warrington for the first time

Warrington 16 Hull 26: Whiting’s two late tries deliver shock
to Warrington

Two late scores from Richard Whiting gave resilient Hull a shock win over one of Super League’s pacesetters last night.

Bruce Martin of New Zealand celebrates the wicket of Nick Compton during day one of 1st Investec Test match between England and New Zealand

Slow progress for England on the first day of the first Test against New Zealand

The hosts end the day on 160 for 4

Simon Calder's Helpdesk: Should I buy a separate ticket for a side trip from Australia to New Zealand?

Q I am attending a conference in Melbourne in September, and have been able to secure an extra five days off at the end of it. I want to take a side trip to New Zealand. Should I book a separate ticket or get the flights to and from as part of my main ticket?

John Slater, Stafford

The Go Compare bloke. A recent survey established that 96 per cent of people hate online video ads

Cyber Culture: Video ads might be annoying, but they make sense

As unwanted distractions go, I'm hard-pressed to think of anything as annoying as video ads which automatically start playing when you arrive on a website. They're even worse than the Go Compare bloke turning up in the middle of your relaxing shiatsu massage. My automatic response is to dive for the mute button, or, if I'm feeling particularly irritable, set about my laptop with a samurai sword, which I keep handy.

Matt Prior on the attack in the third Test against New Zealand in March

Six years on, Matt Prior completes rise from England hardcase to universally acclaimed gem

Wicketkeeper's early unpopularity forgotten as he pips Alastair Cook to win Player of the Year award

New Zealand’s Doug Bracewell celebrates taking the wicket of Derbyshire’s Ross Whiteley at the County Ground

Doug Bracewell proves point after putting his foot in it

New Zealand 289-5 dec & 199-5 Derbyshire 154

I'm travelling to Australia next year – what are the best flight options?

Q. I am visiting a friend in Adelaide in February 2014. I have booked the outbound flight to Sydney in business class with BA using all of my Avios frequent-flyer points. My friend is meeting me in Sydney for a couple of nights before we fly on to Adelaide. I have yet to book my return. However I have had a quick look and Malaysia and Singapore Airlines from Adelaide to Heathrow look to be my best option. These both have stopovers in Asia which is fine with me. Any advice would be welcome. Gary Crump, Evesham

The chairman of selectors, John Inverarity, said Australia were in a period of transition
Joe Root will open the innings for his county, and could still do so for England

Alastair Cook hints at an opening for Joe Root to rise up England order

The 22-year-old scored an invalauble 73 on his Test debut against India

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

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The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
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Take your seat: 10 best placemats

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