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From forest cottages and Antarctic cruises to Chengdu and Greece in London

Szechuan peppercorns cause a unique sensation

What's the difference between a Szechuan pepper and a vibrator?

Not much, at least according to top scientists from a prestigious university in London, who claim that the sensation caused by eating the unique Chinese peppercorn feels exactly the same as pressing a vibrator to your lips.

Former Public Security Minister Zhou Yongkang is to be investigated

China’s corruption crackdown goes all the way to the top, with former security tsar to be investigated

Member of Communist Party’s most powerful body the latest to be investigated in Xi’s shake-up

Fiery dish: Sichuan sea bass

Sichuan sea bass

Serves 10

Video: Landslide in China sweeps away 28 houses

Dramatic footage has captured the moment a giant stream of mud and rocks poured down the side of a mountain in China.

Heavy flood waters sweeping through Beichuan in southwest China's Sichuan province

Devastating floods in China trigger huge landslide, burying 40

Rescue workers have been called to the scene in a bid to find survivors

The 'New Century Global Centre' building which is the biggest standalone structure in world

World's largest building: The New Century Global Center officially opens in China

The building is so large it is capable housing 20 Sydney Opera Houses and is almost three times the size of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Chinese Passenger jet makes emergency landing after being hit by UFO (unidentified 'foreign object') at 26,000 feet

Large dent and scraped paintwork visible on Air China Boeing 757's nosecone

Forty miners killed in China coal mine explosions

Forty miners have died in two separate coal mine explosions in south-western China, authorities said.

A child gets treatment in a military field hospital in Lushan, Sichuan

Sichuan earthquake: Hong Kong urges aid veto over corruption fears

Politicians in Hong Kong have fiercely opposed a plan to donate money to Sichuan to help with earthquake relief efforts, citing concerns that the local government would misuse the funds.

China police believe missing tycoon was helping fugitive brother

Police disclosed today that a Chinese tycoon whose disappearance threatened to disrupt deals with mining companies in the United States and Australia is being held on suspicion he helped hide a brother who is a murder suspect.

Free Tibet: teenage monks and woman in self-immolation protest for congress

Three teenage Tibetan monks and a woman set fire to themselves to protest Chinese rule on the eve of a pivotal Communist Party congress, activists said today.

Chinese conservationists celebrate birth of seven baby pandas

Seven baby panda cubs have been born at a research and conservation facility in Sichuan Province, China.

Diageo seals deal to flog Chinese luxury spirit in UK at £99 a bottle

The drink that has sealed millions of Chinese business deals is about to go on sale in London, after Diageo agreed a UK distribution deal.

Earthquake leaves four dead in China

A moderate earthquake has toppled houses in a mountainous part of south-western China, killing four people and injuring at least 100, state media said.

Tibetan protester Jamphel Yeshi set himself on fire in New Delhi ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to India earlier this year

China cracks down after Tibetan self-immolations

The 33-year-old who died at the sceneis the 35th Tibetan to immolate since March last year

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Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
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people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
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Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum