Starving Somali children in hospital in Mogadishu

Supercrops: Britain pledges large-scale funding to boost health of undernourished people in Africa

The Government is giving £30 million to HarvestPlus - an international research programme which creates nutrient-rich crops

Organic farming hits the skids as recession-hit consumers desert the sector

Organic farming fell to its lowest level on record last year, as struggling consumers continued to desert a sector that had been booming until the financial crisis set in.

Pooled labour: Ulrich Seidl's 'Love' explores the realities of sex tourism

Film review: Paradise: Love - If you want sex on the beach, prepare for the gritty truth

You might well think that Austrian director Ulrich Seidl takes a dim view of human nature. His Dog Days (2001) depicted the Vienna suburbs as hell on earth, while Import/Export (2007) set dim-witted Austrian thugs loose in a decayed Eastern Europe, while a Ukrainian nurse tried to survive in a horrifically inhospitable West. Yet you can detect a wry tenderness in his new trilogy Paradise, although you have to reach the final episode, Hope, for it to blossom into something like fondness for humanity. In the opening chapter Love, Seidl seems to give us human nature at its worst.

Scotland: Fraser Brown in line for remarkable first cap

Scotland’s injury jinx shows no sign of going away as they embark on Mission Impossible against South Africa.

Bovine TB has risen dramatically over the past few decades and badgers have been implicated in the rapid spread of the disease, with about half of new cattle infections linked to badgers, leading to calls from farmers for mass culling

Cull saboteurs: 'We will put ourselves between the bullets and the badgers'

Sarah Morrison delves inside the secret world of the people trying to stop the mass shootings

Met Office holds emergency meeting to discuss Britain's increasingly unpredictable weather patterns

It follows the coldest spring in more than 50 years

Post-mortems due on three brothers who died in Waterford fishing incident

Post-mortems will be carried out today on the bodies of three brothers who drowned when their fishing vessel overturned at sea.

Wild Shepherdess with Kate Humble

Kate Humble: I slept in a yurt and didn't wash for eight weeks while filming BBC2 documentary

She lived with livestock herders for Wild Shepherdess With Kate Humble

The Biospheric Project

The future home: self-sufficient in meat, fish, vegetables and fruit

An experiment in self-sufficiency will transform a previously derelict Manchester printworks according to so-called vertical urban farming techniques

Fast start on the cards for opening leg of Route des Princes

A fast run to Lisbon, even though the wind strength will be relatively light, was in prospect for the eight-strong fleet of trimarans as they left Valencia on the opening leg of the inaugural Route des Princes.

Review: Fall Land, By Patrick Flanery

How America swaps slavery for cynical exploitation

Sandbags protect a premises against the flood in Dresden, Germany, on 6 June 2013. Today's flood crest is likely to be the biggest test yet of its floodwalls since 2002 when the Elbe River inundated historic palaces

Europe floods latest: Historic city centre of Dresden escapes deluge as Germany mobilises tens of thousands of emergency workers

The surging Elbe River crested today in the eastern German city of Dresden, sparing the historic city centre but engulfing wide areas of the Saxony capital.

A bee can absorb pesticides from plants and carry the poison back to its hive

Leading UK scientists sting back over criticism of research into bee deaths

Leading UK scientists accused the Government of abusing science today after the EU strongly criticised the research it used to justify its position on the nerve agent pesticides widely linked to declining bee populations.

Brian May joins a march against the badger cull plans last week

Vets say their professional body was wrong to support Government badger cull

Veterinary Association accused of being too close to farmers in letter to The Independent

This unique Bronze Age dugout canoe from Must Farm, Cambridgeshire is decorated with a criss-cross design - the only such example known in Britain

Dug out canoes found in record haul in Cambridgeshire were Bronze Age Britons' 'run-abouts' of choice, say archaeologists

Ancient Britons made hundreds of thousands of dugout canoes, archaeologists now believe.

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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
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'