Simon Calder's Helpdesk: How much do I need to worry about the scary advice on Quito in Ecuador?

Q. We've booked to go to Quito in Ecuador, but the advice from the FCO is scary to say the least. Can you advise?

Mike Pennick, Hindhead, Surrey

The rape case led to frequent demonstrations in Delhi

Unmasked at last: mother comes face to face with men accused of raping and killing her daughter in India

Family issues plea for justice in bus rape case that shocked India

Simon Calder's Helpdesk: Should I buy a separate ticket for a side trip from Australia to New Zealand?

Q I am attending a conference in Melbourne in September, and have been able to secure an extra five days off at the end of it. I want to take a side trip to New Zealand. Should I book a separate ticket or get the flights to and from as part of my main ticket?

John Slater, Stafford

Vital for EU and UK that we stay in Europe, says LSE chief

It is as vital for the European Union as it is for the UK that this country remains within Europe, the chief executive of the London Stock Exchange Xavier Rolet declared today.

Shane Todd's death was registered as suicide

The mystery of Shane Todd: Did US electronic engineer commit suicide – or was he murdered because he knew too many Chinese secrets?

Parents claim son had been unhappy at work and feared 'heavy hands coming after him'

Saeed Bin Suroor is targeting a fifth victory in the JLT Lockinge Stakes

Bin Suroor and Godolphin hope to put scandal Farhh behind them

Since agreeing to part company, last autumn, Frankie Dettori and Godolphin have each been tainted by unexpected scandal. Both, however, are now hoping for a fresh start. Next Monday, Dettori returns from a six-month drugs ban for his first freelance mounts following nearly two decades with Godolphin. In the meantime, however, Sheikh Mohammed’s elite stable – rocked by an eight-year suspension for the trainer Mahmood al-Zarooni, over the administration of anabolic steroids – is itself beginning to stir back into life. Saeed bin Suroor, the trainer who had been leapfrogged by Zarooni prior to his former assistant’s disgrace, hopes to resume business as usual at Newbury on Saturday by winning the JLT Lockinge Stakes for a fifth time.

Space oddity: the rocket room

Room Service: Dazzling design, confused comfort

Wanderlust, Singapore

Filofax close to being sold

Filofax, the maker of the leather personal organisers associated with Yuppies in the 1980s, is close to being sold to an unnamed party. 

Disgraced French minister, Jérôme Cahuzac, forced to sleep in car

The disgraced former French Budget Minister, Jérôme Cahuzac, has become a pariah forced to sleep some nights in his car, it has emerged.

French President Francois Hollande said it was wrong to assume all politicians were cheats

François Hollande tells ministers they have four days to reveal assets

A “devastated” President François Hollande has announced a series of actions to clean up French public life in the wake of the Jérôme Cahuzac tax evasion scandal.

Anti-corruption officials quiz referee and two assistants in global probe into football match-fixing

Anti-corruption officials in Singapore have accused three Lebanese match officials of receiving free sexual favours in exchange for agreeing to fix a match in an international football tournament.

A portion of the 585kg ice shipment seized in Sydney

Police make record drug seizure of meth in Australia

Australian police today announced their largest ever seizure of methamphetamine, an illicit drug known as ice, that was smuggled into Sydney hidden in shipments of chemicals from China.

Fifa extends match-fixing bans in new crackdown

Match-fixing bans imposed on 74 players and officials from Italy and South Korea have been extended worldwide by Fifa. The move comes two days after the governing body announced that bans on 58 Chinese football officials and players would also be enforced worldwide.

Dan Tan: a Singaporean national who is believed to be behind a massive betting scam

Arrest of match-fixing suspect brings Interpol a step closer to 'kingpin'

Associate of Dan Tan hands himself in, while man himself is 'helping police with their inquiries'

Delhi gang-rape trial: Male companion of woman killed in attack arrives in court to give evidence

Pushed in a wheelchair and his leg wrapped in a blue bandage, the male friend of the Indian student who was gang-raped and left for dead went to court to confront the five men charged with her murder and to testify against them.

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Brendan Rodgers seems more stressed than ever before as Liverpool manager
FOOTBALLI like Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game