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Chongjin camp gets 2.8 user rating

Maldives cabinet meets underwater to stress threat from rising sea levels

The president of the Maldives is desperate for the world to know how seriously his government takes the threat of climate change and rising sea levels to the survival of his country. He wants his ministers to know as well.

Vietnam frees blogger ahead of Australia visit

Vietnam has freed a blogger who was recently detained over a plan to distribute anti-China T-shirts, he said on Sunday, as Communist Party chief Nong Duc Manh prepared to leave on a visit to Australia and New Zealand.

Observations: Proms brings Israeli and Arab musicians together in perfect harmony

Expect queues across Kensington today and Saturday when Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra come to the Proms. The orchestra has been hugely lauded for bringing together young Israeli and Arab musicians in shared endeavour; their musical success is phenomenal, and Barenboim has always stressed that the organisation's raison d'être is artistic rather than political, not an orchestra "for peace" but "against ignorance".

5,000 days in captivity: The world's most famous political prisoner and a dismal landmark

Burma's leaders hoped the world would forget about the detained opposition leader. But her influence and support are a potent threat to the military regime – and it refused the UN Secretary General permission to meet her last week

Biggs' health deteriorating says son

Great train robber Ronnie Biggs could die if he does not respond to current treatment, his son said today.

Phedre, National Theatre, London

Since she last appeared at the National six years ago, Helen Mirren has become a dame and played the Queen. So she's no stranger to the purple in Jean Racine's great classical 17th-century tragedy about a dysfunctional royal expiring with incestuous love for her stepson.

First Night: Phedre, National Theatre, London

Mirren's purple patch comes to an end

China blocks internet in Tiananmen alert

Chinese authorities blocked popular websites like Twitter and Flickr yesterday after expelling dissidents from Beijing in a clampdown before the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests.

Close-up: Clarke Peters

Where does the actor go after Lester in 'The Wire'? Nelson Mandela, of course

Cuba ready to put 'everything' on table in US talks

Castro's offer high on agenda at Summit of the Americas in Trinidad

Mugabe: Last white farmer should leave

Speaking at a rally to celebrate his 85th birthday, Zimbabwe's President says that the farm seizures will go on. Raymond Whitaker reports

Britain lays out conditions for increasing Zimbabwe aid

Morgan Tsvangirai told to shore up country’s ravaged economy and expedite the release of political prisoners
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?