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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003