Sport Portuguese driver Carlos Sousa in action during the first stage of the Rally Dakar 2014

Carlos Sousa held off a trio of Minis to claim stage one in the car classification as the two-week Dakar Rally got under way in Argentina.

Star of

Matt Butler: Idris Elba's rallying call that might even make us lay off the new year chocolates

View from the sofa: Idris Elba: King of Speed, BBC 2

Rallying: Sébastien Ogier wins Wales Rally to crown his title triumph

Sébastien Ogier crowned his remarkable World Rally Championship-winning season in style by clinching victory at the Wales Rally GB yesterday.

Rally car careers off track and hits spectators

A father flipped over the top of a rally car after his two young sons “flew up into the air”, when the vehicle careered off the track and hit spectators at the Royal Bath and West Showground in Shepton Mallet, Somerset.

Stephen Ireland of Stoke City

Capital One Cup: Stephen Ireland praised after scoring in Stoke City victory over Tranmere

Mark Hughes singles out the midfielder

World's most popular blogger is Chinese

Have you ever heard of Han Han? No, neither have most people... except for that massive audience that just happens to make him the world's most popular blogger! As Duncan Hewitt reports for Newsweek, in a piece republished on The Daily Beast: "If the recipient of this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature, Mo Yan, 57, is one of the elder statesmen of Chinese writing, Han, at 30, is its rising star—and its enfant terrible."

Rallying: Loeb chalks up untroubled win

Frenchman Sebastien Loeb dominated the Rally Germany to win the race for the ninth time yesterday.

Rallying: Loeb stretches his advantage after testing rally in Greece

Sébastien Loeb extended his World Rally Championship lead to 31 points after he clinched his fourth victory from this year's six rallies in Greece yesterday.

Sébastien Loeb (right) and co-driver Daniel Elena celebrate victory in Monte Carlo as the Frenchman bids for a record ninth world title

Rallying: Loeb crowned king of Monte Carlo once again

The eight-time world champion Sébastien Loeb continued his dominance of the Monte Carlo Rally by completing his sixth career victory in the event yesterday.

Loeb extends his Monte Carlo lead

Sébastien Loeb of Citroën extended his lead in the Monte Carlo rally yesterday, but another Frenchman, Sébastien Ogier, crashed heavily and retired.

Kimi Raikkonen returns to F1 after a spell in rally driving

Lotus deny Kimi Raikkonen deal is marketing ploy

Group Lotus chief executive Dany Bahar has dismissed claims the signing of Kimi Raikkonen was nothing more than a stunt to improve the team's PR.

Williams should sign Raikkonen, says McLaren principal

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has today urged Sir Frank Williams to bring Kimi Raikkonen back to Formula One.

Rallying: Loeb surges past unlucky Hirvonen

Sebastien Loeb stretched his lead in the World Rally Championship standings to seven points over Mikko Hirvonen after completing a consummate victory in Sardinia yesterday.

Rallying: Ogier rules Rally of Portugal again

Sebastien Ogier beat Citroen team mate and fellow Frenchman Sebastien Loeb to win the Rally of Portugal for the second year in a row yesterday and make amends for a costly crash in Mexico. Seven-times champion Loeb finished second, 31.8 seconds behind, in a repeat of last year's result. Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala was a lonely third for Ford, with team-mate Miko Hirvonen a long way back in fourth. The result was the Citroen team's first one-two finish of the season, making up for the one that got away in Mexico this month, when Ogier crashed out on the final day after leading overnight. "They [the team] showed trust in me since the start of the season and following my mistake in Mexico," Ogier said. "It is the best way to come back. It is a long way to go in the championship but I'm in a better position."

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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
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

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People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
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Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
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Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

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The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

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As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

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A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

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These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

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A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

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A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
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