News North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (left) inspects the command of Korean People's Army. The country's Defence Commission has sent an open letter to South Korea calling for an end to

The letter comes ahead of military exercises between the US and South Korea that the North sees as provocative

Late-summer getaway: Domes of Elounda in Crete

My life in travel: Sara Cox, DJ and presenter

'I got to work in Milan, New York and Korea, which made me pretty fearless'

Rio mayor Eduardo Paes waved the five-ringed flag as he and other officials disembarked from the flight that brought them back from London

Olympic flag touches down on Brazilian soil

The Olympic flag touched down on Brazilian soil, marking the start of four years of preparations ahead of the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.

Big attraction: A professional career will be calling Anthony Joshua if he wins the super-heavyweight title

Boxing: Anthony Joshua has key to future riches in his fast hands

London's Olympics have been a knockout, but there's no doubt who will be Britain's biggest hit of the Games. If Anthony Joshua, one of the two British boxers in this afternoon's finals, wins the super-heavyweight title, he will be within striking distance of a gold mine.

South Korea's president Lee Myung-bak visits disputed islands

South Korean president Lee Myung-bak made a surprise visit today to islets at the centre of a long-running territorial dispute with Japan, ignoring warnings from Tokyo that it would worsen the neighbours' already strained relations.

German hockey players 'bolting' after beating Australia 4-2

Hockey: Defending Olympic champions Germany come from behind twice to defeat Australia and reach final

Defending Olympic champions Germany twice came from behind to beat world number ones and red-hot favourites Australia and book their place in the final.

Pole vaulter Lazaro Borges sees pole snap

Pole vaulter Lazaro Borges sees pole snap during qualification at the Olympic Stadium

Pole vaulter Lazaro Borges escaped uninjured this morning despite seeing his pole snap beneath him.

Wrestling: Hamid Soryan wins Iran's first Greco-Roman gold

Hamid Soryan hoped he had put a smile on the faces of the Iranian people after he finally delivered the country their first Greco-Roman gold this evening.

Charles van Commenee has enjoyed a lively tenure at UK Athletics as the London Games loom

British athletes on verge of golden era, says Van Commenee

Britain's runners, jumpers and throwers flew into London yesterday on a back-to-the-future mission. The declared ambition of the home track-and-field team, when the action gets under way in the showpiece Olympic Stadium on Friday, is to launch a new golden era and to take the public profile of British athletics back to the heady days of the 1970s and 1980s.

Christine Ohuruogu is ready to try and emulate her Beijing triumph

Great Britain's athletes on verge of golden era – Charles van Commenee

Britain's runners, jumpers and throwers flew into London yesterday on a back-to-the-future mission. The declared ambition of the home track-and-field team, when the action gets away in the showpiece Olympic Stadium on Friday, is to launch a new golden era and to take the public profile of British athletics back to the heady days of the 1970s and 1980s.

Diving: Veteran diver Greg Louganis praises Tom Daley

This afternoon, four-time Olympic champion Greg Louganis will be just metres away, watching from the stands, as the 18-year-old Briton, who he prefers to call Thomas, competes in the men’s synchronised event alongside Pete Waterfield.

Meadows does not wish to deprive fellow athlete Lynsey Sharp of her 2012 place

'Stunned' Jenny Meadows won't fight London 2012 snub

British athlete left out of home Games on day she becomes European champion

Colourful Bradstock turns the javelin into performance art

Standing at trackside at the Alexander Stadium in his 1984 British Olympic rain-suit yesterday, Roald Bradstock was asked if he could recall the last time he made the rostrum at a national championships cum major games trials. "Er, no," the veteran javelin thrower and award-winning artist replied. "But, then again, my memory goes a little bit, so I'm not quite sure … Where am I?"

How Elliott got hate mail for depriving Coe of place

When Peter Elliott stepped off the track after winning the 1500m final at the 1988 Olympic Trials in Birmingham he walked straight into the biggest Olympic selection storm in British athletics history.

North Korean army threatens to shell Seoul media

The military says it has aimed artillery at the specific co-ordinates of South Korean media groups, as Pyongyang threatened a "merciless sacred war" over perceived insults.

North Korea threatens media groups

North Korea claims it has aimed rockets at the specific co-ordinates of South Korean media groups.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back