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.

Master the mountain: Snowsports can be daunting. Self-hypnosis or extra lessons can help nervous skiers

Feel the fear and ski anyway

After five years away from the slopes, Tracey Davies found the prospect of heading back to the piste terrifying. But a chance encounter taught her a new way to cope with her nerves

Christmas gift guide: Plenty to get exercised about

GPS watches, designer flasks, adventure vouchers... there's something here for every action hero

My Life In Travel: Tim Lovejoy, television presenter

'I'm jumping on the camping bandwagon'

Briefly: Francesco Quinn

The actor Francesco Quinn, who died on 5 August aged 48, was the son of the late actor Anthony Quinn, He died of an apparent heart attack while jogging with his son near his home in Malibu, California.

99 Days out for the family: Active adventures 1-12

Why not take to two wheels to explore this summer?

Pop label tries to halt Coca-Cola's Relentless march

A battle over who owns the brand name Relentless could force Coca-Cola to drop its popular energy drink after the record company behind Joss Stone and K T Tunstall launched court proceedings against the US manufacturer.

Chalet Girl (12A)

Starring: Felicity Jones, Ed Westwick, Bill Nighy

Chalet Girl: skiing in the movies

The new film Chalet Girl is big on the romance of life on the slopes. But as Stephen Wood reveals, it's a long way from the reality of a modern ski resort

Ski chalets: Experience the personal touch

Enjoy the intimate atmosphere of a chalet without the stress of organising a large group holiday, writes Nicola Homer

'My new favourite resort': Indulge in a little luxury in Morzine

Jon Secrett finds himself spoiled in a fully catered chalet

No ski cover? Total wipe out!

Make sure you have the right travel insurance for what's set to be a belter of a season.

Olympic sports get funding boost

Six summer Olympic sports have received cash increases ahead of the London 2012 Games but winter sports such as figure skating, skiing and snowboarding have had their funding reduced to zero, UK Sport have announced.

Foreign Office warns skiers: check insurance or it could cost you

British holidaymakers are risking sky-high medical bills by failing to insure themselves when they go skiing, the Foreign Office warned last night.

Martin Johnson: So we've won a game. Let's calm down

There is not much point in a team staging the rugby equivalent of a Lord Mayor's Show, as England did in beating the Wallabies at Twickenham last weekend, if they fail to avoid the thing that traditionally comes after it.

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World Cup 2014
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Rihanna celebrates Germany's win
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Sheeran arrives at the 56th annual Grammy Awards earlier this year
musicYes, that would be Ed Sheeran, according to the BBC
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Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker during Hansen's final broadcast
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AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
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Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
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The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
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Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
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newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
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Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor