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.

Sharks ended up in Med after 'navigational error'

Australian great white sharks have ended up in the Mediterranean after going "walkabout", a study has shown.

Seal mutilation 'caused by boat propeller'

A clue has emerged in the hunt to find what is causing the horrific corkscrew injuries to many dozens of seals whose bodies have been washed up along Britain's east coast this summer.

Surfer dies after shark attack

A man has died after being attacked by a shark while surfing off the south-western coast of Australia today, police said.

Top Trumps: All creatures great and small

Butterflies vs bats. Squirrels vs stag beetles. The natural world is at war – but don't worry, it's all for a good cause. Holly Williams plays a game of wildlife Top Trumps

Wanted: a family to join the diminishing inhabitants of Muck

Clearing the population of Muck, the smallest of the Scottish Small Isles, was painfully straightforward. In 1828, the local clan leader loaded 150 people aboard a ship and took them to start new lives in the uncharted wilds of Nova Scotia. Rebuilding a sustainable community, by contrast, has proved a much more arduous process.

The legacy of 'jaws' that has bitten the dust

Summer blockbusters began 35 years ago with the Steven Spielberg classic. Now the phenomenon is over

Malaysia: Discover Asia's secret shores

Far from the cosmopolitan bustle of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's east coast offers secluded islands, tranquil beaches and dramatic rainforest – all at bargain prices

How Lush made a meal out of fox hunting

The heir to Body Shop's ethical crown used an ad campaign to make grisly claims about one of its favourite targets. Trouble is, some weren't true

Stephen Foley: Goldman is small fry among the sharks

US Outlook: Goldman Sachs's defence of its mortgage trading activities – that it was merely a humble market-maker, bringing together buyers and sellers, bulls and bears – survived the mauling on Capitol Hill this week, but when Goldman scalps are eventually claimed, I hope lawmakers don't decide their work is done.

Stephen Foley: Sharks turn on Wall Street's 'vampire squid'

US Outlook: Every way you look at it, the fraud charges laid against Goldman Sachs are devastating for the investment bank.

Where Australia's sharks go to stay looking sharp

A pampering session at the beauty salon always works wonders for morale – not just for humans, but also for sharks and manta ray fish. Australian scientists have discovered that these large marine creatures regularly congregate at certain spots on the Great Barrier Reef to be groomed by smaller fish.

Ruck and Maul: Clinically deaf Cohen signs up to help hard of hearing

Ben Cohen, the Sale and England wing who is clinically deaf, is helping to publicise a series of video clips of signing for rugby players. The signs for such words and phrases as tackle, pass, attack, scrummage and first aid are designed for coaches to communicate better with deaf and hard-of-hearing players and can be seen at www.ndcs.org.uk/rfu. Cohen spoke about his deafness for the first time in a national newspaper in The Independent on Sunday last month and he told Ruck and Maul: "Everyone in rugby knows me as 'Eh?' because of my deafness. It didn't stop me becoming a professional player but it's never been easy. In a quiet room I'm fine but I was on the team bus down to Gloucester on Friday and with the other players chatting I had to strain to hear the person next to me. I've also got tinnitus – a permanent ringing in the ears – which doesn't help. If the ability to sign rugby words helps more kids get into the game, it's got to be good."

Kiteboarder killed by sharks in rare deadly attack

A lifeguard who rescued the victim of a shark attack off Florida's Atlantic coast said yesterday he could see several sharks breaking the surface and blood in the water as he approached in rough surf.

Hodgson is a star but Blues and Sharks still flounder

Cardiff Blues 36 Sale Sharks 19: Form fly-half pulls strings in six-try but bonus-free match that leaves Toulouse in control of Pool Five
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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
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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