Travel

My stomach has endured the full scope of awful foods this planet has to offer Trying adventurous food is a big part of travelling, but India, where I'm travelling through now, has more problems with [food] hygiene than anywhere else in the world. It's a cultural problem, as eating meat is a rarity in rural areas, so they treat it like a vegetable, keeping it in a cupboard. So when the occasional Westerner passes through, by the time it's pulled out, it's been in there for a few months. When travelling across poorer parts of India now, I try to survive off rice and dahl.

Manal al-Sharif in New York in April after she was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people

Saudi regime protester Manal al-Sharif cancels US trip over death threats

Manal al-Sharif forced to pull out of ceremony to honour her activism

Revealed: Saudi royals' secret $1bn US empire

BP and BAE Systems among the tenants of portfolio of properties associated with king's son Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd

Revealed: Saudi royals' secret US property empire

A secret $1bn US property empire amassed by members of the Saudi royal family is the subject of a bitter legal dispute that threatens to reveal the extent of the family's American business interests.

Trending: Greatest flits collection

It's called a Moonlight Flit: the crime of fleeing without paying. Usually it's done by financially strapped, but plausible-seeming, folk exiting through the window at 3am, hoping their landlady won't hear.

Suicide bomber kills 12 at school in northern Yemen

A suicide bomber drove into a school in northern Yemen's al-Jawf province where members of a Shi'ite Muslim rebel group had gathered for Friday prayers and killed 12 people, the defence ministry said.

Tunisia: Death penalty sought for Ben Ali

The prosecutor at a military tribunal has called for the death penalty for the former dictator over his role in the deaths of protesters during the uprising that overthrew him a year ago.

BAE signs £1.6bn Saudi jets deal

Defence giant BAE Systems has won a £1.6 billion contract to supply Hawk aircraft to Saudi Arabia, preventing more than 200 potential job losses at one of its factories.

Gulf keeps close watch as Saudis hold union talks with Bahrain

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain discussed a political union at a meeting in Riyadh yesterday in a development that could see the tiny Gulf kingdom largely absorbed by its neighbour.

As with Iran and Syria, the usual clichés have been used in the reporting of Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri’s underpants bomb

Robert Fisk: Must we stand idly by while world leaders spout this codswallop?

Even Churchill told the Empire that Britain would 'not stand by idly and see Poland trampled'

The US wants to capture the bomb maker, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri

Leaks that revealed British agent's role in foiled bomb plot investigated by FBI

Consternation grew on both sides of the Atlantic yesterday at leaks in the US media over the foiled al-Qa'ida bomb plot – the latest of them that the key infiltrator into the terrorist organisation's Yemen network was a British citizen apparently of Saudi origin who was recruited, according to some accounts, by MI5.

Underwear bomber's plot was foiled by British agent

The undercover agent who foiled an an Al-Qa'ida plot to destroy an airliner by posing as a potential suicide bomber is British, it was reported in the US last night.

The 2009 bomb is believed to have been the work of al-Qa'ida bomb-maker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri in Yemen

Mole who helped CIA foil al-Qa'ida underwear bomb 'was
British national'

An undercover agent who foiled an al-Qa'ida plot to blow up a airliner with an underwear bomb is a British national, it was reported tonight.

Mrs Clinton meets West Bengal’s chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, in Kolkata during her three-day visit to India

Hillary Clinton heaps more pressure on India to halt Iranian oil use

Delhi faces sanctions if the US determines it has not made a sharp reduction in imports

Bin Laden's widows 'have no terror links'

Saudi Arabia has no evidence that Osama bin Laden's three wives and and reportedly 11 children deported from Pakistan have been involved in terrorism, officials said yesterday in an apparent indication that they will allow the group to remain in the kingdom.

Syria Olympic chief may be blocked from London 2012 Games

Syria's Olympic chief could face being refused entry to Britain for the London 2012 Games.

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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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick