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.

Yemeni men inspect the site where a Saudi diplomat and his bodyguard were killed in Sanaa's southern district of Hada, where embassies and diplomats' residences are located

Saudi diplomat shot dead in Yemeni capital

Gunmen killed a Saudi diplomat and his Yemeni bodyguard on a busy street in the capital here Wednesday, the latest in a string of assassinations of government figures in this impoverished Middle Eastern country.

Brookfield may seize Pinnacle site for unpaid bills

The builders working on plans for the tallest skyscraper in the City, the Pinnacle, could seize the site after launching a legal challenge to recover £16m in unpaid bills.

One To Watch: Olivia Arthur, Photographer, 32

The newest recruit to Magnum Photos read maths at Oxford University before taking up photo-journalism at the London College of Printing.

Arab shopping spree boosts UK shops

Well-heeled Middle Eastern shoppers increased their spending by half in the UK last month, making them the most important group for retailers from outside the European Union.

Saudi Arabia's women allowed to join country's main advisory body but must be separated from men by a screen

It was heralded as a big step for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia – but when women join the country’s main advisory body, they will be separated from the men by a screen.

Iranian nuclear ambitions will be top of the agenda for David Cameron in Saudi Arabia

Iran’s nuclear ambitions will be top of the agenda when David Cameron visits Saudi Arabia tomorrow during a three-day visit to the Gulf and the Middle East.

David Cameron defends Middle East visit insisting he WILL raise concerns about hosts' human rights records

The Prime Minister hopes to win billions of pounds of defence contracts during his visit

Saudi Arabia has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world

Sedentary Saudis spur as diabetes rates soar

At Gold's Gym in Riyadh, Majdi Omar is using his childhood inspiration to get Saudis into shape.

Defence contracts on the agenda as Prime Minister arrives in UAE

David Cameron will tomorrow arrive in the United Arab Emirates on a mission to sell Britain's expertise in producing everything from bombs to hospitals.

Prime Minister David Cameron is considering stationing warplanes in the Persian Gulf amid rising tension in the region

Britain meets Gulf allies over growing tensions in Iran

Saudi Arabia and the UAE fear there may be attempts to block a vital oil supply route

Bahrain bans all protests in new crackdown

Sunni monarchy breaks its pledge to reform and steps up repression of the island's Shia majority

Editorial: Time to call Saudi Arabia's bluff

Saudi Arabia has made known that it is "insulted" by the recent decision of the UK Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee to review British relations with it and with Bahrain. And by choosing Frank Gardner, the BBC security correspondent, as its intermediary, it ensured more publicity for its hurt feelings than it truly deserved.

Riyadh: Enjoying a consumer boom

Saudis buy burgers with Royal handouts in consumer boom

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Abdullah al-Luhaymi spends weekend nights cruising around the Saudi capital Riyadh on his motorbike before stopping to meet friends, usually at an American-style fast-food joint. Each month he has more to choose from.

BAE strives to calm its backers after deal fails

BAE Systems launched a charm offensive yesterday as the defence giant promised to hold meetings with investors to discuss its strategy following the collapse of its proposed £30bn merger with EADS.

Errors and Omissions: Medea may be a sorceress and a murderer, but she's no femme fatale

Our legendary pedant on the dead metaphors yet to be airbrushed from history, what it is that makes a femme fatale, and the proper form of cricketing cliché.

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Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
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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
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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...
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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'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

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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
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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