Of all the subjects for a thrilling tale of espionage, war and diplomacy, ping-pong seems an unlikely contender. All the more intriguing then is the story behind a détente between America and China in 1971, which occurred seemingly out of the blue after 22 years of hostility.
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Thursday 10 September 2009
Thursday 03 September 2009
Thursday 20 August 2009
Saturday 20 June 2009
Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for a particular holiday. Today: a one-week campsite holiday in France. Prices are for departures on 1 August for a family of up to six people and include return Dover-Calais ferry crossings for one car.
Sunday 17 May 2009
Sunday 12 April 2009
Wednesday 25 March 2009
Thursday 19 March 2009
As usual, we awoke on Tuesday morning to the sound of bleating, although it was not the "where is my rugby shirt/history homework?" kind of bleating to which we are so accustomed in the tumultuous hour between 6.30am and 7.30am. No, this was definitely ovine bleating, which was not in itself a surprise – not with the perimeter of a 1,000-acre sheep farm all of 30 yards from the marital bed. But this bleating seemed more insistent than usual, and sure enough, there were half a dozen lambs trapped on our side of the fence in what we grandly call the ha-ha, all going ballistic, in their woolly way. It was what you might call, although not after too much Herefordshire cider, a ha-ha hoo-hah. Indeed, a baa-baa ha-ha hoo-hah.
Saturday 14 March 2009
It's back to the day job this afternoon for the week's gallant gladiators, with Uttoxeter the main arena and the Midlands Grand National the top prize. Run over nearly four and a quarter miles, this is a contest which requires as much stamina as a four-day Cheltenham Festival and produces a similar attrition rate. Over the past six runnngs 101 horses have taken part; just 42 have lasted to the finishing post.
Wednesday 11 March 2009
Friday 06 March 2009
Wednesday 11 February 2009
A "ping-pong" between the two Houses of Parliament was avoided today, when peers accepted a Commons change to the Banking Bill, which now goes for Royal Assent.
Sunday 04 January 2009
Pleas to Downing Street usually get short shrift – ask the friends of still plain Mister Bruce Forsyth – but the lower echelons of British sport are hoping that their protest to the PM over the absence of pre-2012 funding won't be given the seasonal Scrooge treatment by a grumpy Gordon. Organised by the volleyball player Lucy Wicks, a petition set up on the No 10 website has over 2,000 signatures from representatives of the eight Olympic sports, including volleyball (in whichBritain make their world championships debut in Sheffield this weekend), table tennis and shooting, that have missed out on a share of the £292 million given to other sports featuring in 2012. Not until the end of the month will they know if they will get a few crumbs from the table – if anything, says Wicks, 26. "All sports for which funding has not been clarified find their programmes threatened, and we are now in danger of being unable to pursue our dreams of competing in 2012. Our dedication is being ignored. We want the Government to keep its promises to help us provide a legacy."
Saturday 13 December 2008
Graeme Swann is considering forming an exclusive club after his remarkable introduction to Test cricket. The dinner table will not be particularly crowded when the star attractions eventually get together, as Swann became only the second bowler in the history of Test cricket to take two wickets in his first over when he dismissed India's Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid on the stroke of tea.
Thursday 27 November 2008
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 The future of sex: The first female condoms were derided, mistrusted and shunned - but will their modern counterparts catch on?
- 2 South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
- 3 Channel 4 announces two-hour TV show to be broadcast 'Live from Space' later this month
- 4 Man stabbed with Legend of Zelda Master Sword in serious condition
- 5 Study suggests that 'gaydars' are real - at least for women