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Makenzie Wethington broke her pelvis, spine, shoulder, several ribs and a tooth in the fall

Glide up and escape from earth

'It's the nearest thing to a flying dream,' one enthusiast proclaimed. Rupert Isaacson on learning to paraglide over the Marlborough Downs

Branson says balloon design was flawed

Richard Branson and his teammates revealed that they had been only a minute from death as their Virgin Challenger balloon plummeted towards the ground at 30mph early last Wednesday morning. Yesterday, the three men declared themselves happy to be alive and back in Britain, saying they had had "the most fascinating, mixed 24 hours in our life".

Skydivers survive fall

Two Australian skydivers survived a 500-metre fall to the ground after they collided in mid-air. Hundreds of horrified spectators at the National Skydiving Championships at Corowa watched as the two skydivers' parachutes became entangled and they crashed into a paddock.

Network Sites: One way through the Festival queues

Andrew North skirts the Fringe in Edinburgh, and does his homework

Man who fell to earth `so lucky to be alive'

A paraglider who hit the ground at 100mph after falling to earth for more than a mile when his parachute collapsed described himself yesterday as "the luckiest person on earth".

next weekend...go hot air ballooning

Richard Branson blames global warming for yet another postponement of his round-the-world balloon flight, as Morocco suffers freak rainstorms. But there's nothing to stop you taking to the skies nearer home.

Branson's eight-mile safety net

Chris Arnot reports on a firm that has its feet on the ground

Air show of force

Air show of force

Belarus `regrets' balloon attack

Belarus `regrets' balloon attack

Belarus shoots down US balloon

Moscow - Belarus air defences have shot down a hot-air balloon, killing the two-man crew, both US nationals, the Belarus interior ministry announced. The incident took place on Tuesday near Bereza, 60 miles east of the Polish border. Belarus forces decided to bring down the balloon after they failed to establish contact with its crew. Police said that the pair were taking part in the Gordon Bennett Cup balloon race that began in Switzerland last week.

Flying is simple, I just wasn't sure it was a good idea

David Hallworth ran and ran, arms outstretched, then all at once the Jura lay beneath him

Unhappy landing

Unhappy landing

Hanging around: With the advent of motorised launches, the unique thrill of hang-gliding can now be had immediately. Tony Kelly strapped himself in

I had always imagined that hang- gliding consisted of long trudges up hills followed by the all-too-brief exhilaration of the flight. So it came as a pleasant surprise to find myself cruising at 400 ft within minutes of getting strapped up in a Norfolk field.

Fatal aerobatics

A FLYING club instructor and a naval officer died in a light aircraft crash after performing prohibited aerobatics, an accident report said. Colin Shaw, 59, of Trebarvah, Cornwall, and Lieutenant Rob Cuthbert, 34, from RNAS Culdrose, Cornwall, died when the officer's Steen Skybolt went into a spin and crashed into the sea near Penzance, in June.

Balloon safe

A HOT-AIR balloon carrying six passengers made an emergency landing on a 20ft square garden lawn in Salisbury, Wiltshire, after running out of fuel.
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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada