Travel Snow forecast is looking good for Sochi

The number of Brits planning to go to Sochi in Russia for the Winter Olympics in three weeks' time will be minimal. Apart from the usual Russian visa requirements, flights are limited, a special "spectator pass" is required in a bid to combat security threats and prices for accommodation and the top events are very expensive.

Video: WestJet Christmas miracle - Airline surprises passengers with festive stunt

Passengers were left startled when they were presented with Christmas gifts they had asked for before boarding a flight

Eddie Murphy became the latest victim of a Twitter hoax this week

Paul Walker tragedy sparks Eddie Murphy Twitter death hoax

Eddie Murphy became the latest victim of a Twitter death hoax when a series of online Chinese whispers escalated

It can be tough going financially for Winter Olympians like Ed Drake

Kevin Garside: Ed Drake works on a building site and pays to transport his own skis. It’s no way to maximise your Winter Olympic medal chances

'I might have to walk on the plane in my ski boots. I’ve seen guys do it'

Britain’s Zoe Gillings was eighth in the snowboard cross at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and has high hopes of doing better than that in Sochi in 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics: Zoe Gillings is a hopeful jump ahead

British winter sport is no longer a joke. Robin Scott-Elliot meets a genuine medal prospect for Sochi, where no competitor will be better prepared

The 10 Best action cameras

Capture your most daring stunts and terrifying tricks with one of these head- or body-mounted beauties

The name's Terry, Terry of the mountains

I'm in the French Alps, skiing in a small British village called Val d'Isère. I suppose that technically it's French but you wouldn't know it. The place is packed with Ruperts and Tobys teaching their broods to ski so that they might better be able to network once they get their first job in banking. French is spoken here, but only if absolutely necessary and is definitely frowned upon.

Ski news: You should have booked by now

February half term is crunch time for ski holiday bookings, particularly in the French Alps, which is the UK's most popular destination for ski holidays. With good snow conditions, next month looks like it will be very busy indeed.

Skiing: Woods wins again to reach Sochi

Great Britain's James Woods has won his second straight ski slopestyle World Cup event in the latest round in Colorado.

British snowboarder Emily Watts in critical condition after accident in French Alps

A British student left critically ill after a snowboarding accident in the French Alps is still fighting for her life, her family said today.

A splash of the special treatment

From peppermint facials to artificial ice caves, Juliet Kinsman hits the on-trend spas

Fjord focus this winter

Matt Carroll heads to a little-known Norwegian wonderland for perfect powder on the pistes

Jackson Hole reveals its softer side

This famed resort isn’t just about extreme skiing, says Matt Carroll

Snowboarder Jenny Jones

My life in travel: Jenny Jones

‘Don’t plan your holidays – it leads to adventures’

Snowsports for all: accessibility is vital

Disability skiing: The rise of accessible ski resorts

Think pistes are just for the able-bodied? Not so, says Mary Novakovich

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Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
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File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
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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