Sport Alexander Zubkov’s four-man bobsleigh team celebrate gold for Russia

Mission accomplished for Putin as host nation finishes top of medals list

Six Russians die in snowmobile crash in Italy

Six Russians were killed and two others were injured when their snowmobile slammed into a fence and flipped over into a ditch during a night run down an Italian ski slope.

Take a spin: The Eden Project's indoor ice rink

Travel by numbers: Your countdown to Christmas

1901 The year that Queen Victoria died – signalling the end of her eponymous era. This Christmas, however, the festive spirit of the Victorian period lives on at Saltwell Park in Gateshead, which has been transformed by the after-dark arts experience, Enchanted Parks. Visitors can see illuminated installations such as "Glimpses of Victoriana", costumed characters and trees that respond when given a hug. Evenings 5-9 December. Tickets £6. Newcastlegateshead.com

Niseko: A unique piste in the East

Niseko has a mountain aesthetic all of its own, says Leslie Woit

A world-famous winter warmer

Patrick Thorne heads for a notoriously glitzy Swiss resort – and falls in love with the place

A view of Sochi Park

Russian organisers of next Winter Olympics in Sochi reveal plans to take Olympic Torch into space

Sochi 2014 organising committee president Dmitry Chernyshenko has confirmed ambitious plans to take the Olympic torch into space for the first time.

Michelle Obama to attend Olympic Games ceremony

Michelle Obama will be travelling to London to attend the Olympic Games' opening ceremony, the White House announced.

Lake Placid Lodge, New York State

The Big Six: Luxury lakeside retreats

Lake Placid Lodge, New York State

Outside Edge: Liar, liar, pants on fire in the snow

Uh-oh. If it's about underwear, David Beckham must be involved.

Winter wonder: Taking to the slopes in Espace Killy

Slopes with savoir faire: Val d'Isère still retains its centuries-old character

Polo, the ski-shop manager at Les Barmes de l'Ours, Val d'Isère's swankiest hotel, is the kind of fellow one finds only in winter-sports resorts and Bond movies: charming, cooler than cool, with an impressive air of worldliness for a man whose horizons are all jagged and snow capped.

Munich beaten by Korean city to host 2018 Winter Olympics

Pyeongchang won the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics yesterday with a crushing victory in the vote by the International Olympic Committee over Munich and Annecy.

Ice Hockey fans riot in Vancouver after Stanley Cup loss

Riot police fired tear gas to control a mob that burned cars and looted shops in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup final to the Boston Bruins.

Private sector takes lead in Russian winter games

Investment in the $7.8bn construction programme for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, will come mostly from the private sector, says the games' chief organiser.

Aggreko signs Japanese power deal

A British firm today said it had signed a deal with the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan to supply emergency power.

Business Diary: Walsh's wings clipped by office

Life isn't always glamorous for the chief executives of our biggest companies.

That's what they mean by nursery slopes

Being pregnant didn't put Susie Mesure off trying out the pistes of La Tania, a small yet perfectly formed corner of the Alps
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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 17 April 2015
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence