First Night Miles Hilton-Barber: Miles and Miles of sand and courage

Blindness has failed to deter this crusader as he prepares for the toughest race in the world.

Letter: Debt waste

Sir: Last time round, Comic Relief raised about pounds 26m for UK and Third World charities. Sub-Saharan Africa repays that much in debt repayments to the West every day.

Exhibition: Africa By Africa

While exploring the technical and stylistic development of photography in the sub-Saharan region, "Africa by Africa" poignantly documents some of the social history of that continent this century. As vintage prints evolve to colour, the attitude of the artists and subjects towards their work alters and the narrow focus on identification portraits widens to produce images of artistic and personal value. Santu Mofokeng and Zwelethu Mthethwa (including Untitled 1995-96, above) are among those who provide a social commentary as they explore themes of spirituality and comradeship in both rural and urban African communities.

Parliament & Politics: The House: Business today

Commons: Debates on pay for nurses; future of the Post Office. Cabinet Office questions. Prime Minister's questions. Debate on Government information and Britain's role in Europe.

SWEET TALKING

The Rapscallion

Travel for mind, body and spirit: Eyes Sightseeing in the desert

I am the sort of man who offends the eyes of women with his thighs. Khaki shorts may have been good enough for John Mills in Ice Cold in Alex, but they should be worn advisedly in the Sahara. Travelling by jeep in the heat of the day I wore shorts, and my companions just had to put up with them; but I always pulled on trousers if I was going to meet strangers. On one of the few occasions when I did not; the sight of my legs nearly drove two fully-robed fanatics to homicide.

Restaurants: Where shall we meet in Covent Garden?

The cult of the celebrity restaurateur is probably here to stay. Now that a few have their names above the door, there'll be no stopping the rest of them.

Why oasis should listen to granny

I AM WRITING this from a town where international telephone calls are said to be darned near impossible to make and I am pretty pessimistic that anyone is ever likely to read a word of this. But why turn back now I've started? This is Siwa, an oasis deep in the western desert of Egypt. They say that an airport will be opening up soon, but in the meantime there is still only one road into the place, straight down from the Mediterranean coast to the north. From any other direction it takes days across trackless sands in four- wheel-drive cars, that is if you are lucky enough to find it at all.

Lonrho investors threaten action

THE BATTLE between Lonrho Africa and a group of investors linked to George Soros took a fresh twist yesterday when the shareholders threatened legal action against the troubled conglomerate. Blakeney Management, an investment fund seeking an overhaul of the Sub-Saharan group's board, claimed the company had made defamatory remarks against some of its associates.

Lonrho investors threaten legal action

THE BATTLE between Lonrho Africa and a group of investors linked to George Soros took a fresh twist yesterday when the shareholders threatened legal action against the troubled conglomerate.

The Emperor of the Sahara

Historical Notes

Letter: Modified food

Sir: At the age of 60, I have lived long enough to know that most food, including, sadly, ice cream, toffee and treacle pudding, is bad for me. Can I ask that any long-term trials of genetically modified food are carried out on me? For a modest fee I will take the risk of living only to the age of 98, not 100.

Treats sales fall

POOR WEATHER caused a 3 per cent fall in sales at Treats Group, the UK's largest independent ice-cream maker. Profits halved to just pounds 1.25m in the six months to 28 June, the chairman, Brian Fidler, said.

Horrobin quits Scotia in dispute over chief

A SIMMERING boardroom row at Scotia, the drugs group, burst out into the open yesterday when Dr David Horrobin, the company's founder, resigned from his role as non-executive director.

It may be their money, but it's our custard

THERE WILL be a strong British flavour to the launch of the euro in Brussels today after Britain insisted on the heads of state of the European Union sitting down to an all-British menu for lunch, writes Colin Brown.
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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
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

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Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

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Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

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The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
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Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

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