14 killed as police raid Rio ganglands

Police raided shanty towns in Rio de Janeiro yesterday, setting off clashes that killed 14 people as authorities try to halt a wave of violent crime that has rattled rich and poor alike in a city that Brazil hopes to make a showpiece for the 2016 Olympics.

Drug gang members battle police in Rio

Suspected gang members burned cars and buses in Rio de Janeiro yesterday in a fourth day of violence, defying a heavy police presence and raids on slums which left seven dead.

Post-2012 funding to rely on Lottery

The Olympics minister, Hugh Robertson, has promised there will be no drop in funding for elite athletes after the London 2012 Games.

24-hour Room Service: Hotel Fasano, Rio de Janeiro

Lap up the cool vibe and ocean views

Brazilians vote in presidential election

Brazilians are going to the polls today in national elections that could see front-running candidate Dilma Rousseff become the country's first female president, succeeding her popular ally and mentor.

Front-runner in Brazilian election denies corruption

With just three weeks before Brazilians go to the polls to decide who should fill the shoes of President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva, the campaign has abruptly been muddied by allegations of dirty-tricks campaigning and corruption on the part of the ruling party's candidate, Dilma Rousseff.

Leading article: A policy for the planet

The pace of global warming is so slow that it is hard for most mere mortals to grasp its implications. That may explain why so many people refuse to accept the science of climate change. It often requires creative artists to convey the scale of its challenge to humanity. In Earthquakes in London, the highly acclaimed play by Mike Bartlett at the National Theatre, an expectant mother is driven half-mad by her fears for the planet on which her baby will be born.

48 Hours In: Rio de Janeiro

Brazil's 'marvellous city' is as flamboyant, dramatic and seductive as ever – even in the South American winter.

Cech a doubt for Chelsea opener after injuring calf in training

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech suffered a calf injury in training yesterday and could be ruled out for the champions' first Premier League game of the season against West Bromwich Albion.

Plane diverted after bomb threat

An Air France passenger jet from Rio de Janeiro to Paris was forced to make an emergency landing in north-eastern Brazil because of a bomb threat, a company spokesman said.

On top of the world: Why Brazil is booming

It is a 100th birthday party in a well-to-do postcode of Sao Paulo, where the house of our journalist host – he and another writer pal are actually each turning 50 – slips graciously down a slope to a terrace and the chatter is nearly all politics. Then the DJ cuts the music in the middle of a samba everyone knows. They reflexively fill in: "Ò coisinha tão bonitinha do papai" – "Oh daddy's beautiful little thing".

Travel Agenda: Okinawa Day; Hotel Le Seven; Britain to Rio de Janeiro

Today: Find out about Japan's southern islands at Okinawa Day in London's Spitalfields, which celebrates art, music and food from this sub-tropical archipelago (okinawaday.org.uk). From Asia to Iberia ... the capital is also celebrating Spanish food in Potters Fields Park next to City Hall with Tapas Fantasticas. The event, which runs over the weekend, celebrates wines from Rioja and the country's venerated food ( winesfromrioja.co.uk/tapasfantasticas ).

Referee Simon happy to chat despite swearing ban

The England players are on notice that swearing will be to their detriment this evening after Brazilian referee Carlos Simon's crash course in abusive English language – but verbal communication is possible as Simon is a referee who is known to like talking to players during the game.

Brazilian referee for US opener labelled 'risky'

The Brazilian referee Carlos Simon, who has been selected to take charge of England's first World Cup finals group match against the United States on Saturday, has made so many controversial decisions that one of his nation's biggest clubs petitioned Fifa to get him thrown out the tournament.

Report on failure to halt wildlife decline is buried

A report showing that Britain is failing to halt the declines of many of its highest-priority wildlife species and habitats, from the red squirrel, the juniper and the common skate to chalk rivers and coastal salt marshes, was "sneaked out" this week by the Government with no publicity, environmental campaign groups said yesterday.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home