News Activists carry posters as they shout slogans during a protest march against the gangrape and murder of a teenager, in India. The Indian politician has apologised after she said women invite rape.

She came under criticism from members of her own party who distanced themselves from her remarks

Kim Jong-Un, 'Sexiest Man Alive'. China's Communist Party newspaper, 'People's Daily', treated a spoof award by satirical US website The Onion as genuine

China's party paper falls for Onion story hailing Kim Jong Un as sexiest man alive

'World's sexiest...' polls can often turn up a surprise outside contender, so one might forgive China's state-run newspaper for not questioning a spoof report that hailed the leader of their close ally North Korea as the "Sexiest Man Alive".

Thawing of relationship between Fifa and FA

The Football Association and Fifa today moved to heal the rift between the organisations that developed after England's failed 2018 World Cup bid.

Woman sets herself on fire in Tibetan protest

A Tibetan taxi driver set herself on fire and died in the latest protests against Chinese rule over her homeland, overseas rights groups confirmed yesterday.

Postal Service lettercarrier Raymond Hou delivers mail along his route

US postal service posts annual loss of $15.9bn

The US Postal Service on Thursday reported a record annual loss of $15.9 billion in the past fiscal year, prompting renewed calls for Congress to pass legislation to help.

China's president Hu Jintao quits as party chief

China's president Hu Jintao has stepped aside as ruling party leader to clear the way for vice president Xi Jinping to take over as part of only the second orderly transfer of power in 63 years of Communist rule.

Security is tightened ahead of China's transition of leadership

With a friendly face, China tightens security

China's authoritarianism has many faces, but rarely does it appear in the friendly, grandmotherly guise it has taken over the past week, as thousands of older women have shown up on the streets of the capital, their vigilant eyes eager to ferret out the smallest signs of trouble.

Sander Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee warns of the human cost

Two million could lose jobless benefits unless Congress extends programme

More than 2 million Americans stand to lose their jobless benefits unless Congress reauthorizes federal emergency unemployment help before the end of the year.

Editorial: China's new leader must move with the times

Resistance to political reform will be intense, but the status quo is unsustainable

Obama with John Kerry in 2008

Barack Obama prepares to build bridges – but first he needs new allies to help him do it

Urgent work to avert the 'fiscal cliff' as key figures from first term get ready to leave President's team

Chinese President Hu Jintao: A parting shot from the world’s most powerful man

After hailing a ‘glorious decade’ in power, the outgoing Chinese President served a dire warning on his successors at Congress to tackle corruption and social unrest – or lose everything

The number of women increases in Congress

Election boosts ranks of women in Congress

Twenty years after the election that was heralded as the "year of the woman" comes another one that could be called that.

Split Congress leaves US still on edge of 'fiscal cliff'

So the Republicans retained their majority in the House of Representatives and the Democrats kept control of the Senate – a recipe for continued gridlock in Congress as the country is threatened with tumbling off a "fiscal cliff". Yesterday, jittery world markets reacted accordingly and stocks plunged.

Soldiers march in Beijing below a portrait of Mao Zedong

China’s top brass promise crackdown after Bo Xilai scandal

Vow comes on eve of crucial meeting to select country’s leaders for the next decade

The Communist elite has endorsed the expulsion of politician Bo Xilai

Bo expelled as party cleans up for handover

The ruling Communist elite has endorsed the expulsion of the disgraced politician Bo Xilai and approved final preparations for the party's forthcoming Congress.

Protesters halt factory expansion in Ningbo

Thousands of protesters who marched through an eastern Chinese city today to protest about the expansion of a petrochemical factory won a pledge from the local government that the project would be halted.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee