Arts and Entertainment

Colditz; the Great Escape; Bridge on the River Kwai and, recently, the Railway Man. Parodies of them by everyone from Beyond the Fringe to Russ Abbott. All second world war. Memoir after memoir. And yet with the single, powerful exception of the French classic La Grande Illusion, the prisoners of the Great War have gone largely unchronicled.

Cuadrilla operated drill site in Balcombe, West Sussex. The company has withdrawn applications for permits to frack in Lancashire

Caudrilla withdraws applications to frack in Lancashire after encountering problems with radioactive waste disposal

Cuadrilla, the fracking company responsible for a series of earth tremors around Blackpool in 2011, has withdrawn applications for permits to frack in Lancashire after problems surfaced relating to the disposal of radioactive waste.

elephants in rain

Good fences make good neighbours in Kenya

Protecting habitat and engaging the local community are crucial for both rhinos and elephants, says Christian Lambrechts, the managing director of Rhino Ark

Crews clean up a chemical spill along the Elk River in Charleston, West Virginia

Company blamed for West Virginia chemical spill files for bankruptcy amid court claims

Freedom Industries facing lawsuits and investigations after spill that left 300,000 without water

Crews clean up a chemical spill along the Elk River in Charleston, West Virginia

Hundreds with symptoms of chemical exposure and 300,000 without water after West Virginia spill

Authorities have still not declared the water supply safe two days after contamination

Wild and dangerous? Because elephants and humans live so closely in Kenya there are sometimes accidents

Charity Appeal: Kenya's daily battle between humans and wildlife

It's little wonder that villagers want to kill elephants when faced with deadly attacks, but new deterrents help them to co-exist

The UK-based charity Practical Action has given British urban landmarks 'make-unders' to highlight the plight of the world's slums

Slum Britain: UK cities given ‘make-unders’ to show what life would be like if Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament were in shanty towns

Government pledges support to Practical Action campaign for sanitation in world’s poorest cities

Fracking opponents were quick to criticise the plans

Government to make 40 per cent of Britain available for fracking

Coalition forges ahead with licences

France moves quickly after winning UN backing for CAR operation

650 troops on the ground with more to follow, but Hollande vows to keep mission brief

Right to choose: the young women of Somaliland need education as well as better health care

The importance of health care: Blind choices

Many women in developing countries don't realise that they have a right to healthcare and to make decisions about their own bodies. This has to change, says Edna Adan ssmail

Thames Water calls for 11% price hike to pay for "super sewer"

Half-year pre-tax profits were up by nearly a fifth to £134.2 million

Carlos Juan Finlay: Physician's 180th birthday marked with Google Doodle

The Cuban physician Carlos J Finlay has been honoured with a Google Doodle on the 180th anniversary of his birth.

With an eye to the 2015 election, politicians are focusing public debate on the utilities’ contribution to bills

Water regulator pays consultants £18m. Guess who'll foot the bill?

Under-resourced Ofwat doesn't have the staff to assess the utilities' new charges to customers

The Business Matrix: Saturday 30 November 2013

Pearson to sell Mergermarket

Thames Water defends tax liability as first half profits surge

Thames Water has announced a 19 per cent increase in pre-tax profit to £132.4 million for the first half-year.

South West Water to freeze bills until 2015

South West Water has vowed to freeze prices for the next to two years.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there