Travel
 

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

24 City (U)

This documentary recounts the story of a factory in Chengdu City through the testimony of its workers.

Liberty to freeze basic salaries of directors for second year

Liberty International, the FTSE 100 property group behind the Lakeside megamall in Essex, is to freeze the basic salaries of its senior directors for a second consecutive year.

Collins doubts his Hoops credentials

John Collins has played down his chances of being appointed Celtic manager, and also cast doubt on Neil Lennon's hopes of landing the job. The former Parkhead midfielder and Hibernian manager Collins, 42, has been out of work since leaving Charleroi last summer.

New bridge opens in flood hit Workington

The two sides of a town divided by the Cumbrian floods were reunited today, after a temporary road bridge was opened.

Clifford Coonan: Two years on, have any lessons been learnt?

We have been here before. One teacher's story yesterday of how her school collapsed in the Qinghai earthquake provoked a shiver of awful recognition.

2010 County Championship guide

The 2010 English cricket season is about to get underway.

Gold Cup preview: Kauto can prove ascendant over fading rival star

The 82nd running of the week's centrepiece should provide an "I-was-there" moment. Kauto Star (3.20), going for his third Cheltenham Gold Cup, is poised to seal his greatness. The race has been hyped as the best-of-three decider between the defending champion and his Paul Nicholls-stablemate Denman, but that moment came and went last year and Denman has increasingly looked like a horse falling out of love with his job.

Caravan, 11-13 Exmouth Market, London EC1

To call a new restaurant "Caravan" is to risk ambiguity. The word can suggest a camel journey, a romantic quest for Shangri-La, a drifting meander through exotic lands and undulating sand dunes, meeting strange women in transparent shawls and kohl-drenched eyes, their every movement dreamily soundtracked by the sexy wail of oud and zither. Sadly, it can equally suggest a dismal wet weekend in a rusting mobile home on Selsey Bill.

An artist's struggle for justice in China

Beaten to within an inch of his life, Ai Weiwei is still defiant.

The new nappy valleys

When it's time to have children, young professionals have long headed for London's leafy suburbs, but now buyers are moving further afield in search of domestic bliss. Gwenda Brophy reports

Earthquake activist sentenced in China

A Chinese court today sentenced an activist who investigated the deaths of thousands of schoolchildren in the country's massive 2008 earthquake to five years in jail for inciting subversion of state power, the man's lawyer said.

Wanted: language tutor for panda

Moving abroad is often hard, but for singletons facing a language barrier it is even more difficult. It may be with this in mind that one of China's top panda breeding centres is seeking a language teacher, as well as a mate, for a female panda who flies to China from the US this week. Three-year-old Mei Lan, whose name means Beautiful Orchid, has been living at Zoo Atlanta in Georgia since her birth in September 2006. At her new home in Chengdu, where she will join a breeding programme, it is believed that a teacher will help her adapt faster.

Steve Connor: Island is cut across with fault lines

The Caribbean is riddled with a complex network of tectonic fault lines resulting from the movement of the Caribbean plate which is slipping eastwards at a rate of about 2cm a year, relative to the vast North American plate further to the north.

Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains, By Catriona McPherson

In the bar of the House of Commons, you'll find MPs from both sides happily quaffing together, with none of the animosity one might expect. But such a collegiate atmosphere isn't present at crime-fiction conventions when two types rub shoulders. The writers of tough urban crime tend to gravitate together, while those who specialise in less sanguinary Home Counties mysteries – the "cosies" – tend to keep to their own. Of course, there are exceptions: Val McDermid may plumb the most gruesome reaches of psychopathology, but she's a passionate Agatha Christie aficionado.

Guilty: China's verdict on the man who helped quake victims

Beijing responds to US call for greater civil liberties with sentence for activist who criticised official response to disaster
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
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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
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