Travel

Now... Depart any day this month for a walking holiday of the Cinque Terre – an idyllic string of five fishing villages on Italy's Ligurian coast. The self-guided trip with UTracks costs £490pp, with six nights' accommodation and train tickets. utracks.com

Right of Reply: Junior Lodge

A Jamaican trade representative replies to the US ambassador to the WTO

Crack trade grips Caribbean

THERE IS a place on the tiny Caribbean island of St Lucia where even the police, let alone tourists, fear to tread.

Small islands watch helplessly as their green gold is devalued by vengeful US

THE PEOPLE of this little Caribbean island have always been a little confused. They are the first to admit it. Since an Italian named Columbus discovered the island on behalf of Spain but moved on, its inhabitants have been seven times under French rule, seven times British. For the past 20 years, they have been very much independent, though they still speak a French patois while driving on the British side of the road.

From St Lucia to Scotland, jobs are put at risk in banana war

"HOW DO you tell people that a thousand jobs might be lost over a bunch of bananas?" asked Rony Rathie, production manager of Johnstons, a cashmere knitwear factory in the Scottish borders town of Hawick, as news of the "banana war" emerged yesterday.

Leading Article: Our moral duty to the Caribbean nations

ALMOST UNNOTICED, a major trade war is threatening to break out between Europe and the US. Because the dispute concerns the humble banana, it seems difficult to take the subject seriously; media coverage of impending American sanctions has been sparse, to say the least. This is misguided in the extreme.

Pictures of the year

From the horror of war to the simple pleasures of family holidays, this newspaper was home to the distinctive images of the past 12 months. Here, on the next four pages, are some of the most striking

The sunday poem 5. Derek Walcott

Every week Ruth Padel discusses a contemporary poet through an example of their work

Shopping: If I Win The Lottery Tonight... Ian McCaskill Pantomime Villain Formerly Known As The Weatherman

IT'S DIFFICULT to say what I'd do if I won the lottery because I don't do it. I'm too mean and I understand about probabilities and I don't want to win pounds 10 - pounds 10 is more trouble than it's worth.

Drug boss guilty in Guerin killing

ONE OF the five "managers" of a Dublin-based international drugs gang was yesterday jailed for life for the murder of the Irish crime journalist Veronica Guerin in June 1996.

Is it safe to follow in the wake of Mitch and Georges?

INFORMATION DESK: YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR PANEL OF TRAVEL EXPERTS

Books: Whispers of immortality

The Books Interview; Derek Walcott, friend of Ted Hughes and fellow bard, tells Paula Burnett about myth and memory

Rugby Union: Leonard reclaims place in the sun

England's mileage man needed to refuel in the Caribbean to revive his hunger for future battles

'Exclusive' resorts turn St Lucia into a place of us and them

Luxury developments from which local people are excluded have unhappy consequences, says David Allsop. But Alice Charles, whose family is from the island, believes it is still a special place

ESTABLISHMENT BARD TOPS LIST

ANDREW MOTION is emerging as front-runner to succeed Ted Hughes as Poet Laureate, writes Marguerite Jones. The biographer of Keats, prolific poet and professor of creative writing at East Anglia is seen as an Establishment figure who would be highly acceptable for the job.

In 25m years it'll be like Club Med

Dominica is one of the few Caribbean islands to have escaped the invasion of holiday-makers. Now its natural beauty is attracting a new kind of visitor - the eco-tourist.
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Arts and Entertainment
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
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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
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
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'