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.

Spring Breakers stars ex-Disney starlets Vanessa Hudgens (right) and Selena Gomez as a dreadlocked gold-toothed gangster

Harmony Korine the unlikely director to give spring break films their big break

One of the recurring jokes in the ever-quotable Arrested Development was one of the sitcom's characters shouting "Spring Break, whoooo" and lifting her shirt.

The thrill that comes from knowing you'll be sharing the water with the world's biggest fish

Donsal, Philippines: Up close to whale sharks

The Lonely Planet Adventure: There's no need for a cage when you share the water with these giant creatures

The surfer, 29, identified only as Luke, was in the water with friends at Diamond Head, 240 miles north of Sydney, when the shark – believed to be a 6ft bull shark – bit him on the thigh

Close call for surfer as sharks force Australians out of the water

A surfer had part of his hand bitten off as he tried to fight off a shark off the New South Wales coast, while on the other side of the country shark sightings caused panic on one of the busiest days of the Australian summer, as scientists speculated that warmer ocean temperatures may be bringing the killers closer to shore.

Must watch: Aquarium bursts in shopping centre in Shanghai

The appeal of the aquarium means you see the wonders of the ocean, without any of the danger. Or at least in most cases...

Close encounter: A diver enters a cage to swim near great white sharks ... if there are any around

A golfing story to beat them all as shark falls from the sky at San Juan Hills Golf Club in California

The Capistrano Dispatch is the leader in the clubhouse for the most bizarre story of the week: A live two-foot long leopard shark appears to have fallen from the sky on Monday and landed near the 12th tee on the San Juan Hills Golf Club in California.

The mystery eye was found by a walker at Pompano

Here's looking at you, squid Giant eyeball washes up on Florida beach

A deep-blue eyeball the size of a grapefruit washed up on a Florida beach has left wildlife experts puzzled.

A giant eyeball from a mysterious sea creature that washed ashore and was found by a man walking the beach in Pompano Beach in Florida on Wednesday. No one knows what species the huge blue eyeball came from

The mystery of the huge blue eyeball washed up on a Florida beach

Whether it's a giant squid, a whale, or some hitherto unidentified sea monster - the creature is now likely to be swimming around with an eye patch.

Australia to kill sharks on sight

A rise in the number of shark attacks has prompted Australia to introduce a controversial "kill on sight" policy, designed to protect beachgoers from Great Whites that get too close.

A deadly 16ft great white shark leaps from the water off Australia

Let us kill great whites, says Western Australia as protected species claims its fifth victim

Western Australia called on the federal government yesterday to lift a ban on the fishing of great white sharks following an unprecedented fifth death in its waters within less than a year.

Made In Heaven is the story of a girl's dream, part heavenly part hellish

Mark Bruce Company, Wilton's Music Hall, London
Ballroom of Joys and Sorrows, Palace Theatre, Watford

If you see a wilder hour on a British stage this year, I'll eat his hat

Shark kills surfer in South Africa

A shark has killed a surfer off Cape Town, South African police say.

Damien Hirst poses in front of his work, I Am Become Death, Shatterer of Worlds, at the retrospective show at the Tate Modern which opens tomorrow

Damian Hirst, maestro of the macabre

A new retrospective at the Tate Modern shows how little of himself Damien Hirst reveals, says Adrian Hamilton

Unnatural world: detail from 'Sympathy in White Major - Absolution II' (2006)

Damien Hirst: The maestro of the macabre

From sliced-up cows to dead sharks, Damien Hirst is the master of statement, but his retrospective at the Tate shows how little of himself he reveals

Calls for shark cull after fatal Great White attack

Tourism operators in Western Australia yesterday demanded a shark cull, following the fourth fatal attack in seven months and amid warnings that the state's beaches are now the most dangerous in the world for shark attacks.

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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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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