Travel

From Ben Fogle's shore excursions to a new Hemingway hotel in Madrid, and discounted family rail travel in the UK

Simon Read: 'Freemium' games allow unscrupulous firms to fleece kids

Reader Simon Moore gets in touch following a piece I wrote this week about computer games manufacturers "exploiting children" through so-called "freemium" games.

The 10 Best pet gadgets

From drinking bowls to collar-attached cameras and useful apps, we look at the best ways to care for your dog and cat

Protest over Romania government's plan to kill stray dogs

A bill allowing stray dogs to be euthanised is legal, the constitutional court has ruled, prompting hundreds of dog lovers to block a main road outside parliament in protest.

Connecticut Supreme Court to decide if horses are a 'naturally vicious species'

The Connecticut Supreme Court will decide whether horses in the state should be classified as a " naturally vicious species", in a court case that dates back to 2006.

Verbal battles over Damian McBride's memoirs at the Labour party conference escalate into fisticuffs as publisher fights protester

Iain Dale was involved in a scuffle with protesting pensioner Stuart Holmes

Jamie Roberts hurt his ankle while playing for Racing Metro

Blow for Wales as Jamie Roberts written off for autumn

Influential inside centre has operation on injured ankle and will miss all four November Tests

Through the Keyhole is a painfully unfunny peep show, and should be shown the door

Grace Dent on TV: Through the Keyhole, ITV

The perma-tanned prankster and his painfully unfunny peep show should be shown the door

The number was revealed after two guard dogs used to protect the Duke of Cambridge were euthanised within days of him leaving his military base.

Ministry of Defence 'put down 288 military dogs in three years'

The Ministry of Defence has put down 288 military dogs since 2010, it was claimed today.

Mexico storms: Exhausted tourists jostle for flights out of Acapulco

Thousands of exhausted tourists lined up late into the night on a muddy road outside a military base for a chance to get home on one of two precious air bridges out of the famed beach resort Acapulco, isolated by landslides set off by Tropical Storm Manuel.

MoD forced to defend decision to put down 'Prince William' guard dogs

Ministry says it was not possible to rehome the animals

Iran plans to launch Persian cat into space as it prepares to send first human astronaut by 2018

Iran is preparing to launch a cat into space, just seven months after claiming to have sent a monkey on a successful 20 minute flight 72 miles into the atmosphere.

Man's best friend? Research shows dogs are happy to interact with robots

Canines were happy to follow suggestions from 'social' robots to find food

Colorado floods: Residents warned to evacuate or face weeks without power, running water or basic supplies

At least four people have died and hundreds remain unaccounted for, with more rain forecast for the coming days

My next book: a dog in a bag, and me. Can’t fail

Slowly, and almost indiscernibly, the taboos of my youth are being shed. The other day I caught myself thinking about attaching some sort of strap to my reading glasses.

Brian May at the launch of the anti-cull campaign

RSPCA ‘too political’, says leaked report

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) was embroiled in a row yesterday after the leak of a confidential internal report by a senior figure which said the charity’s future was in jeopardy because it had become “too political”.

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
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Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
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Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas
footballChelsea vs West Ham live kicks off coverage of all 10 of Boxing Day matches
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peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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Day In a Page

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
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