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

Sri Lankan election workers carry ballot boxes before boarding buses as they prepare to go to their polling centres in Jaffna

Sri Lanka's Tamil community finally get provincial council vote

Every day Raja Padmanabhan, a 63-year-old bachelor living in a quiet area of Jaffna, hopes someone will hire his services. He has his own van and often drives doctors from the Jaffna hospital or – on longer trips – visitors from the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora who want to see the former battlegrounds of the north or the calmer sites of Kandy or Sigiriya further south.  

'Independent' journalist Jamie Lewis

iPhone 5S on sale today: Want to make a quick £500? Join the queue

Jamie Lewis uncovers the lucrative business of being at the front of the Apple store line

Life at the front of the iPhone 5s queue

The closer to the front of the queue you are, the higher your rank

'Evil Elmo' arrested for anti-semitic rants in Times Square pleads guilty to attempting to extort $2million from Girl Scouts of America

Dan Sandler was also charged with harassing and stalking a Girl Scouts employee with dozens of threatening and bizarre emails and photos

My next book: a dog in a bag, and me. Can’t fail

Slowly, and almost indiscernibly, the taboos of my youth are being shed. The other day I caught myself thinking about attaching some sort of strap to my reading glasses.

Protesters at Balcombe, Sussex

Should they stay or should they go: High Court to rule on Balcombe fracking protest

Protestors' campaign against Cuadrilla oil mining has lasted seven weeks, but they are now having to contest an eviction order

Trekking guides hacked to death in front of horrified Australian tourists

Four tourists were wounded in bandit attack, none seriously

Boozy feral pig steals beer, gets drunk and starts fight with a cow

Belligerent porker went on bender after drinking three six-packs of beer

George Abboudi, 22, has not been in contact since he spoke to his family in Leeds via Skype on 5 August

Sherpas comb Himalayan foothills for missing Briton George Abboudi

22-year-iold from Brighton began trekking alone in the region on 5 August but has not been heard of since

Costa Brava murder: British man arrested in Spain on suspicion of killing his father

A British man has been arrested on suspicion of killing his father at a Spanish camping site, police said.

The 10 Best last-minute travel websites

Whether you fancy lounging on a beach or something a little more energetic, there are some great late holiday deals to be had

From Everest to Stoke Bruerne: Google's Street View backpack hits the UK

Known as the Trekker, the 40lbs backpack snaps 360 degree images every 2.5 seconds from 15 cameras

RWE npower drops despite its price hikes

Big Six energy provider RWE npower saw its profits drop by 6% in the first half, as price hikes in November failed to offset rising fees to use the power network and one-off regulatory costs.

City sleepers: urban camping is gaining a foothold in cities

Bright lights, big campsite: Why trudge to the countryside when you can stay – under canvas – in the city?

True, you’re less likely to hear  a nightingale’s song than police  sirens, but that’s not stopping urban campers

Tom Daley: Marked out as a future media star after posing with Kate Moss at a photo shoot for Italian Vogue aged 15. TV career beckons after coaching role on hit celebrity diving show Splash! despite concern over outside commitments

Tom Daley to host TV travel adventure series on ITV

Olympic diving star Tom Daley is swapping backflips for backpacks as he heads around the world for a new TV series.

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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
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen