Sport Oracle Team USA tactician Ben Ainslie participates in a dock out ceremony before the start of race six of the America's Cup finals against Emirates Team New Zealand skippered by Dean Barker in San Francisco

The quadruple gold and silver medal Olympic champion opens his campaign in the 40-foot catamarans in Singapore next month

Dom Joly: Away in a manger, the bear boiled his head...

It's nativity play time again. My son Jackson has been given the coveted role of third innkeeper. He claimed to have been offered a much bigger solo part but that he turned it down. He said that he didn't really "feel like it". He is four years old – God help us eight years from now. He's certainly a very different character from his older sister, Parker, who four years ago announced to us all that she had the role of Mary. We were thrilled and showed off to everyone until it turned out that she was lying and had simply refused to accept that she didn't have the lead role. "Don't put your daughter on the stage Mrs Worthington." Well, Mrs Worthington might have been persuaded to put a stop to her daughter's thespian tendencies but there's no way that young Miss Joly is going to be deterred from treading the boards.

Pandora: Murdoch matriarch's sideswipe at Wendi

Rupert Murdoch's 99-year-old mother, Dame Elisabeth, might strike you as a harmless old dear, but that hasn't stopped her from planting a right hook on her icy daughter-in-law Wendi Deng.

Somali pirates fail to hijack US cruise liner

Pirates near Somalia chased and shot at a US cruise liner with more than 1,000 people on board but failed to hijack the vessel, a maritime official said today.

My life in travel: Jonathan Agnew

'My dream trip? Places where they don't play cricket!'

The Complete Guide to: The Gulf states

Souks, spices, sand and soaring skylines – the countries of Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are an alluring option for a winter break, says Cathy Packe

Family travel: 'Where can we enjoy some sun in December?'

Q. We are hoping to take our four-year-old son away for a pre-Christmas short break. As it will be during the week before Christmas, we don't want to fly too far. Where will we be guaranteed reasonable sunshine and some nice outdoor activities? D Elms, via email

Scaling the heights: Being a climbing instructor offers plenty of career highs

Walking in the Peak District on a clear sunny day, stopping to admire the view across the Hope Valley and breathing in the crisp Derbyshire air might not seem like your average journey into work. But, for James Thacker it's a daily reality and one that he thanks his lucky stars for.

At this Oman hideaway you can feel cut off

Zighy Bay is Oman's latest luxury offering. But, asks Sarah Barrell, will guests get any sense of the country it's in?

Sir Donald Hawley: Distinguished diplomat and writer

Donald Hawley was an outstanding and distinguished member of a remarkable generation who left the Sudan Political Service just before Sudanese independence on 1 January 1956 and joined what was then the Foreign Service.

Oman: Name that dune

Three-quarters of Oman is desert, but the Sultanate still harbours plenty of humanity. Anne Penketh is seduced by magnificent mountains and welcoming communities

Spas: Seychelles, Malaysia, Oman and Thailand

We're starting to tire of the Identikit spa experience. What is the difference between a hot-stone therapy in Hua Hin or Hampshire? No, the future of the spa is in going native.

Independent Families: 'Will my daughter and I get the sun without the jet lag in Oman?'

Q. I want to take my teenage daughter for a week's sunshine during the February half-term. We would prefer somewhere that won't give us jet lag, as she will return straight back to college. We'd like to be near a beach, have access to spa treatments, and be able to do some sightseeing. We also like water sports. I hear that Oman is good, but how long is the flight there? Also, we would prefer separate rooms I'm aware that this won't be a cheap holiday! C Howells, Surrey

Beatles and Apple settle legal fight over logo

A 25-year dispute between the Beatles and Apple computer company over the use of the apple logo was settled yesterday at the doors of the Court of Appeal in London.

Castro denies claims he has $900m fortune: 'Why would I want money?'

Fidel Castro is accustomed to the occasional verbal volley from Washington accusing him of tyranny and oppression. There is, however, a sure way for America to get under the 79-year-old Communist leader's skin - by calling him filthy rich.

Middle East: Full of eastern promise

Year-round sunshine and quality developments are not just confined to Dubai, says James Howells
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff