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
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert