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.

Cleaner water blamed for spate of shark attacks

Cleaner water in Sydney Harbour and off nearby ocean beaches is being blamed for a series of shark attacks, with a 15-year-old surfer badly mauled yesterday in the third such incident in three weeks.

Book Of A Lifetime: Les Chants de Maldoror, By the Comte de Lautréamont

I'm absolutely mad on mad people. Some of my favourite artworks and novels appear to have been spewed from the hands and minds of mad folk, from Henry Darger to Alfred Jarry to Jean-Michel Basquiat, but none has made a more prominent dent on my brain than the Comte de Lautreamont's potty page-turner, Les Chants du Maldoror. It's like an old, twisted rulebook on how to break all literary rules.

Games Review: Fishing Master World Tour

Wii, Konami, £19.99

Independent Appeal: Fishermen helped to escape the human sharks

The fishermen of the Agusan marshes in the southern Philippines island of Mindanao have to watch out for sharks, but they do not find them in the water. It is a hard life for the Manobo people who live around the 59 lakes and rivers of the marshland. The natural crop they seek to harvest is the mudfish which they sell to the mainstream Muslim population who regard the fish as a delicacy. It is not a dependable livelihood because the freshwater fish is abundant only when the rains come. The dry seasons – from April to May and again from September to November – signal the hard times.

Sharks attack has to carry on without great White

Just as they are regaining momentum at the business end of the Guinness Premiership, another unkind break for Sale. Up into fourth place, just four points behind leaders Bath after three league wins out of four and a near miss away to the table-toppers, the Sharks will be without the bite of their great White when they travel to Worcester today.

Leading article: Making life worth living

A remarkable new German film, Nordwand, (North Face) tells the extraordinary story of the tragic German-Austrian attempt to make the first ascent of the North Face of the Eiger in 1936. The four climbers perished. Their leader, the heroic and youthful Toni Kurtz, died of exhaustion, suspended from a rope just 15 ft away from rescue.

Man presumed killed in holiday shark attack

It was one of the busiest weekends of the year at Australian beaches - and one of the most frightening. In Western Australia, a man was presumed killed by a shark that attacked him while he was snorkelling with his son. On the other side of the country, a kayaker in Sydney was terrorised by a shark that knocked him out of his boat and circled him until he was rescued by fishermen.

Tendai Mtawarira: The Beast of the front row

He has acquired a fearsome reputation (and a new name to match) since leaving Zimbabwe. South Africa's rising star talks to Simon Turnbull

Sale 17 Cardiff Blues 18: Blues edge close encounter

At the end of a surreal Saturday afternoon in Stockport, the biggest shock was the announcement that Munster had been unable to sell their full allocation of tickets for their Heineken Cup visit to Edgeley Park a week on Sunday.

Richard Ingrams' Week: Now we all have to pay for the banks' mistakes

City whizzkids and investment bankers have traditionally benefited from the general inability from the rest of us to understand what they actually get up to.

Hakkasan drops its famed £40 shark fin soup over ethics

When Alan Yau opened his prestigious Hakkasan restaurant in the heart of London’s West End seven years ago it promised to provide patrons with a truly authentic Chinese culinary experience. It earned him a Michelin star.

Pacific quest: The dive of a lifetime

When a BBC team was despatched to find new marine species in Micronesia, the trip gave Kate Humble the chance to dive in some of the world's most spectacular underwater environments

Clash of the fiercest predators as shark eats polar bear

Global warming may not be the only threat to the polar bear. Scientists are puzzling over the discovery of the jawbone of a young polar bear in the stomach of a Greenland shark, a species that thrives in the cold waters of the far north.

UK's marine ecologists start to think big

Sturgeon stroll to the Humber aims to raise sights on fish conservation
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness