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.

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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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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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
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Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Vivienne Westwood and her son Joe Corré deliver an anti-fracking letter to No 10 last week
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Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
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Day In a Page

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
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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...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

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

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
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
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

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