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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

Uncertain corridors: Writings on modern cricket by Gideon Haigh

Uncertain corridors: Writings on modern cricket by Gideon Haigh, book review

During the recent Ashes series I changed my newspaper habits specifically to read Gideon Haigh’s dispatches from the front. As Haigh is Australian, those unfamiliar with his work might have expected at least a hint of crowing to creep into his copy as England imploded, but he was as impartial as ever, while also being characteristically knowledgeable, perceptive and witty. (If you can bear to relive the horror, Ashes to Ashes, his chronicle of the series, will be published on 27 February).

A barge carries asylum-seekers bound for detention centres on Christmas Island after their boat was intercepted

Australian government uses military to repel ‘boat people’ but is silent on claims of savage treatment

Tony Abbott's administration was elected on a promise to 'stop the boats,' but hunger strikes and claims detainees have sewn their lips together have citizens asking 'at what cost?'

England’s Sam Tomkins, left, is tackled by France’s Éloi Pélissier, right

Steve McNamara demands massive improvement against Kiwis

England’s unconvincing display against France in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday did nothing to enhance their hopes of winning the tournament on home soil.

Ryan mighty: England’s winger Ryan Hall scores his second try last night

England 34 France 6 match report: England feel the width with Ryan Hall and Josh Charnley

England survived an early scare to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, with rather less assurance than New Zealand or Australia, but still with more than enough to spare.

A piece of the boat's wreckage washed up on an Indonesian beach

Boat carrying asylum seekers to Australia sinks off Indonesian coast

Police in Indonesia say passengers were from the Middle East

A suspected asylum seeker vessel is intercepted and escorted by the Australian Navy

Australia restricts news of arriving 'boat people' in attempt to foil smugglers

Australia’s newly elected conservative government has ordered a clampdown on releasing information about the arrival of asylum seekers.

Trekking guides hacked to death in front of horrified Australian tourists

Four tourists were wounded in bandit attack, none seriously

Testicle-eating fish, the Pacu, found in Paris with fears it could be coming to the UK

Small piranha-like fish was found in European waters for the first time in August

Papua New Guinea, though predominantly Christian, retains a strong undercurrent of tribal religion

Hacked, slashed and castrated: How 'cannibal' cult leader ‘Black Jesus’ Steven Tari met his death

Papuan cult leader had been on the verge of an unexplained Israel trip before his grisly demise

‘Black Jesus’ Steven Tari is hacked to death

Cult leader was a convicted rapist, but local rumours of cannibalism persist

HMAS Parramatta, an Australian Navy ship that came to the rescue

106 rescued after asylum seeker boat sinks north of Christmas Island

Australian navy ships rush to help those aboard capsized boat in Indian Ocean

Kevin Rudd (left) and Tony Abbott shake hands before the debate

Australia left yawning as election debate fails to produce sparks

Mr Rudd took on opposition leader Tony Abbott in a televised debate

The pacu fish - or,

Men in Sweden warned after sighting of testicle-eating fish

A small piranha-like fish with a fierce reputation has been found in European waters for the first time

Kevin Rudd with Papua New Guinea leader Peter O’Neill

UN refugee commission claims 'formidable challenges' for Australia's deal to send 'boat people' to Papua New Guinea

Kevin Rudd's draconian and controversial plan has already outraged human rights campaigners

Search continues for asylum seekers missing after boat bound for Australia sinks

Tragedy comes days after prime minister changed refugee policy so that people who arrive by boat will no longer be allowed to settle there

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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