Life and Style

Google Doodle celebrates the Year of the Horse

Maldives beach becomes sea of stars thanks to bioluminescent phytoplankton

Trick of nature creates spectacle

Book review: 'Ping-Pong Diplomacy', By Nicholas Griffin

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.

Taiwanese intelligence officer Emily Mei Yeh faces long prison term in Taiwan after being refused asylum in UK

Emily Mei Yeh claims she was asked to undertake intelligence tasks she was not comfortable with

Tom Jones: Businessman

Tom Jones was chief executive of the US aerospace company Northrop for 30 years and took it to the top of its field during the Cold War while weathering a series of scandals. He took the company from a secondary aerospace subcontractor to a leading manufacturer of military aircraft, including the F-5 and F-18 fighter jets and the B-2 stealth bomber.

Giant panda bear cub Bao Bao moves around inside the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington
Xu Shuaijun's hot air balloon near the disputed islands

China-Japan tensions: Chef crashes balloon near disputed islands

The islands have caused tension between the countries for some time

Why I won't be shopping in the UK's first Veganz supermarket

The diet often becomes a fanatical and joyless one

The 'body atlas' shows where people feel certain emotions, regardless of their backgrounds, according to a new study

Racing pulse, glowing cheeks and a heavy heart: ‘Body atlas’ heatmaps reveal where we feel different emotions

Study shows how humans all feel certain emotions in specific body parts, regardless of language or location

BlackBerry has turned to Chinese manufacturer Foxconn to produce its hardware

BlackBerry looks East to revive its fortunes after posting huge loss

Five-year deal with Foxconn to target emerging markets marks clear strategic shift

The young tourist, who has not been named, was on St Kilda's pier in Melbourne when she was spotted falling into the cold water of the bay.

Status: Wet - Woman walks off a pier while checking Facebook on her phone

The young tourist was on St Kilda's pier in Melbourne when she was spotted falling into the cold water

Half a million 15-year-olds were tested in 65 countries - and we were 26th in maths and 23rd in reading

Bottom of the class: UK literacy and numeracy standards slip down international rankings

Half a million 15-year-olds were tested in 65 countries - and we were 26th in maths and 23rd in reading

The new terminal is of critical importance to the future of Shenzhen as a booming business and tourist destination, and will bring benefits to the region as a whole

Shenzhen airport Terminal Three: Vast, shiny, new - and empty? China's latest temple to aviation opens

It can handle 45 million passengers a year, 30 per cent more than Terminal Five. It cost $1bn (£612m), just one-seventh the cost of the Heathrow project. And while T5 had been 20 years in the making, the bigger Terminal 3 at  Shenzen took only five.

A Philippine Airlines jet stands on the tarmac at Manila's International airport as one of the most intense typhoons ever recorded tore into the Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan: Monster storm batters optimism over improved Manila tourism links

Philippines is profoundly vulnerable to both tropical tempests and seismic hyperactivity

RSPCA Inspector Tony Woodley holds a seven-inch-long huntsman spider, common to Australia, which was discovered in a delivery at St Leonards-on-Sea:

Stowaway! Giant fast-moving huntsman spider with a nasty bite lands in UK

The seven-inch arachnid reached East Sussex in delivery of BMX parts from Taiwan

HTC cashes in on gold trend with 18ct handset worth £2,750

Apple and Samsung have already made gold-coloured smartphones; HTC just went straight for the gold

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine