Extras

Whether you’re trekking to Machu Picchu or taking in the sun - and football – in Rio, take your pick from these inspirational and useful reads, chosen by Stanfords, the travel information specialists

Luis Suarez of Liverpool comes close during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool

Transfer news: Steve McManaman understands why Luis Suarez would be lured to Real Madrid, but insists Champions League return could keep him at Liverpool

McManaman expects Suarez to feature in the Reds' FA Cup fourth round tie with Bournemouth but accepts it's the Champions League that will keep him at Anfield

Punta del Este

What's the best way to book a trip to Uruguay?

Q. I'm keen to visit Punta del Este and/or Montevideo in Uruguay, ideally as a package holiday. But I can't find any operators that do it. And even if I could, would booking individual flights and accommodation be a better strategy? It seems amazing that BA still don't fly direct! Russ Williams, London

Sebastian Coates in action for Uruguay

Transfer news: Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates to re-join former club Nacional

The Uruguayan will go on loan in a bid to be fit in time for the World Cup

Lucas Moura

Transfer news: Manchester United chase Paris Saint-Germain star Lucas Moura

Moyes after Brazilian midfielder

Roy Hodgson is hoping the extra day in Manaus will aid the players' acclimatisation

World Cup 2014: England will face Peru at Wembley before flying to Miami to tackle Honduras and Ecuador in preparation for 'Group of Death'

The FA have confirmed that England will face two South American sides in the build-up to Brazil 2014 in an effort to prepare for the threat that Uruguay will pose

Steven Gerrard in action for England

World Cup 2014: England to play Peru, Ecuador and Honduras in preparation for 'Group of Death'

Roy Hodgson is eager for his side to test themselves against Central and South American opposition

Roberto Martinez feels a winter World Cup in 2022 would be very hard for players to cope with mentally

World Cup 2022: Winter tournament would be mental nightmare for players, claims Everton manager Roberto Martinez

Martinez feels it would be very difficult to cope with the start of the domestic season before transferring their attentions to a World Cup in Qatar and then back again

Thomas Hitzlsperger with the Germany team

Sam Wallace: Fans in Britain would be supportive of a gay player - just as most have been for Thomas Hitzlsperger

The former Aston Villa midfielder and Germany international has reignited the debate about homophobia in the game

Personnel in a seaboat from RFA Wave Knight escort the suspected drug-carrying vessel

Navy support ship aids £1m drugs bust after Caribbean chase

A quarter of a tonne of marijuana was hidden in sacks aboard Miss Kameney

Ross Barkley celebrates his goal in the 4-0 FA Cup victory over QPR

Ross Barkley 'nailed on' for place at World Cup 2014 according to Everton teammate Gareth Barry

Barkley made his international debut towards the end of 2013 and Barry claims that his form in the Premier League should see him named in Roy Hodgson's squad for Brazil 2014

Boys playing street football during the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013

World cup of travel: Where to go in 2014 - starting with Brazil

Thirty-two countries qualified for the Fifa tournament – but which will be our favourite destinations in 2014 and what do they have to offer that's new? Over a series of articles, Chris Leadbeater studies the form, starting with the hosts ...

Greg Dyke has now admitted that he was wrong to omit an ethnic minority representative from the committee

World Cup 2014: Greg Dyke says cut-throat gesture was 'a piece of humour'

The FA chairman made the gesture as England were drawn against Uruguay, Italy and Costa Rica

OUTLOOK: The world may not be ready yet to walk without central bankers' help

So, it's finally happened. The Fed's decision to slice $10bn (£6.1bn) a month off its quantitative easing programme is the clearest signal yet that Ben Bernanke, and his successor Janet Yellen, smell a real, full-blown recovery on the wind.

Manaus Stadium

World Cup 2014: Roy Hodgson plans scouting mission to Manaus

The England manager wants to assess potential bases in the Amazonian city

Liverpool manager Steven Gerrard has admitted that Steven Gerrard could retire from international football following England's 2014 World Cup campaign

Poll: Greg Dyke thinks England have been drawn in a Group of Death. But can't we think of a better name this time?

'Group of Death' is so 2002. Now we need a new name for this actually-quite-difficult-looking set-up.

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Independent Travel
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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