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Temporary power firm Aggreko — responsible for keeping the lights on and the cameras rolling at the last World Cup in South Africa and at the London 2012 Olympics — has been chosen by FIFA to perform the same duties across 12 different venues in Brazil.

Ex-Panama dictator Manuel Noriega arrives in France

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega arrived in Paris from the United States today after being extradited to France, where he has been convicted on money laundering charges.

On The Road: A devil on the dance floor in Nicaragua

We're standing to attention, our nerves tingling – Jennifer, Mark, Maria and I – as we await the next command. Our drill instructor, Angel, paces the floor in combat fatigues, eyeing us ferociously.

Album: Various artists, Panama! 3 (Soundway)

Usually when an album compiler is mining a limited supply of music (in this instance funk, jazz, calypso and cumbia from Panama in the 1960s and 1970s) a law of diminishing returns operates that ensures that each subsequent collection is inferior.

Manuel Solis

Manuel Solis, who died on 6 November aged 91, served briefly as president of Panama during Manuel Noriega's military regime.

Canoe wife must repay £600,000 – while husband faces bill for £1

Fraudster has assets frozen and faces 30 months in jail if money is not repaid

Canoe death fraudster must repay £591,000

Fraudster Anne Darwin faces 30 months in jail if she does not repay the sum of nearly £600,000 she made from the faked death scam she carried out with her husband, a judge ruled today.

Five UK sites on 'watch list' of endangered monuments

Graveyards in Edinburgh which house the remains of some of Scotland’s greatest historical figures, from Adam Smith to David Hume, are in urgent need of a makeover, according to a charity dedicated to preserving historic monuments.

Guillermo Endara: Politician who became president of Panama following the US operation to overthrow Manuel Noriega

Guillermo Endara was secretly installed as President of Panama precisely as US troops launched the December 1989 invasion to oust the military strongman General Manuel Antonio Noriega. Endara was, however, no mere puppet of the US or of the man who ordered the invasion, President George H.W. Bush. He had, by all accounts, won the general election of May that year by a landslide but had been robbed of victory after Noriega cancelled or destroyed the ballots.

On The Road: No light, no power, no water, but all you need is at 'The Lookout'

"No light!" grins the hotel manager, jangling my keys excitedly. "No light, no light. Not here, not anywhere. Speak to the President, my friend."

Darwin reveals all from inside his jail cell

Canoeist convicted of fraud after faking his death concocts plan to sidestep prison rules and get his memoirs published

Alexis Arguello: Boxer who won world titles at three weights then turned to politics

In his prime, Alexis Arguello was probably the greatest pound-for-pound boxer in the world. After dominating three different weight classes, he became only the third fighter to attempt to win a fourth world title, but failed in one of the most memorable fights of the Eighties. Having been victimised by the revolution in his home country of Nicaragua, he endured a long and tragic decline after quitting the ring before returning to his homeland and emerging as a political success, eventually becoming mayor of Managua.

Album: Quantic and his Combo Barbaro, Tradition in Transition, (Tru Thoughts)

This could be the hot, sweaty, slightly stinky sound of the summer.

Obits in Brief: Edith 'Jackie' Ronne

Edith Ronne, who died on 14 June aged 89, became one of the first two American women to overwinter in Antarctica, in 1947 when she accompanied her husband, the explorer Finn Ronne.

Abandoned in the jungle – the deadliest drug lord

Daniel Rendon Herrera once had his own army. This week, police found him cowering under a palm tree. Guy Adams reports

The Complete Guide To: Costa Rica

The name means 'rich coast', and this stretch of Central America is just that, with hot springs and cloud forest, jungle and volcanoes. Andy Szczuka reveals a wealth of holiday options
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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