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The two sisters sat in the airport lounge, waiting for their flight to Kerala. It was delayed. They were keen to get going. Their mother had died the day before and they were going to settle her affairs. “She had a good life. She lived to 97,” explained one of the sisters. “You know what her secret was? Coconuts.”

Schoolboy stuck in Adu Dhabi for 18 months due to fear of flying finally arrives back home - thanks to hypnotherapy

British 12-year-old finally flies home after phobia traps him in UAE

Album: Tal International, Kaani (Fat Cat Records)

It takes a couple of songs to acclimatise to the deceptively chaotic sound of this West African outfit from Niger. This has neither the reassuring lope of the desert blues nor the bright, shiny swing of Ghanaian highlife. Instead, swiftly circling guitar riffs compete with intense clattering percussion as Tal International give the impression they are tripping over each other to get to some imagined finishing pole first.

The great Gary Stevens is set to appear in the Shergar Cup at Ascot

Stevens to strike in Shergar Cup

While some purists remain reliably condescending, the Shergar Cup has earned a legitimate niche in the racing summer.

Flower power: Prince Charles, supports alternative therapies

He's at it again: Prince Charles accused of lobbying Health Secretary over homeopathy

Prince Charles has apparently been lobbying Jeremy Hunt about the controversial alternative treatment, much to the annoyance of Labour MPs

Pedang, a male Sumatran tiger, who is 14-years old and suffering from chronic ear infections, is given acupuncture treatment at the Ramat Gan Safari, an open-air zoo near Tel Aviv

Pedang gets the holistic approach - but would you give a Sumatran tiger acupuncture?

Pedang, a male Sumatran tiger, who is 14-years old and  suffering from chronic ear infections, was given acupuncture treatment at the Ramat Gan Safari, an open-air zoo near Tel Aviv.

Former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini yesterday left the London hotel where his team stayed for the FA Cup final

Manuel Pellegrini appointment: Manchester City set to cut new man’s powers after Roberto Mancini lessons

Two-week wait puts Manuel Pellegrini in strong position but his role will be strictly defined

HRT patches 'could be used to help treat prostate cancer in men'

Oestrogen offers effective alternative to current, aggressive drugs with fewer harmful side effects
January Jones: The actress who played Betty Draper in Mad Men declared that she was not 'witchcrafty' or anything but she admitted to eating her own placenta after the birth of her baby son and recommended it for all new mums

From eating placenta to rubbing coffee on your skin: how celebrities went to war against science

They feed us a constant diet of fads and fancies, from detoxifying drinks to colon cleansers. But there were signs in 2012 that some celebrities at least are beginning to realise that many of the more bizarre health crazes of the rich and famous are nothing more than junk science.

Specialists treating Neon accepted that there were side-effects to radiotherapy but said that without the treatment the youngster could die within a few months

Cancer boy Neon Roberts should have radiotherapy for brain tumour against mother's wishes, rules judge

Sally Roberts feared the treatment would cause long-term harm but doctors said her son may not survive more than a few months without it

Mankind must go green or die, says Prince Charles

Environmental damage left unchecked would be ‘suicide on a grand scale’, Prince warns

The winning contribution could be aired at the beginning of next season's finale in May 2013

Judd Apatow script for the Simpsons to air after 22 years

The  longest-running American sitcom and the director who has moulded 21st century film comedy in his own image are to team up, as it's been reported that the Simpsons will be turning a script written by Judd Apatow, director of Knocked Up, into an episode next year.

Matthew Norman on Monday: If Andy got his Serb right he'd knock them all out

At the society event of the season, what a joy to meet Andy Murray. This lover of the sweet science was ringside at Upton Park on Saturday night for David Haye's fifth-round destruction of Derek Chisora. "Hi, I'm Andy," said the modest Wimbledon finalist at the proffering of a Diary hand.

Suspected rhino poacher shot dead in South Africa

A suspected rhino poacher was shot dead in South Africa's flagship Kruger National Park today and two others were arrested after they killed a mother and her calf, police said.

John Rentoul: Lansley's Bill is safe, but he is not

The NHS shake-up is past the point of no return, and will proceed. Its author's future is less assured

Market Report: Shire under the weather as rival hits recovery trail

There was a rather pale look to Shire last night as the drugs maker weakened after one of its major rivals took a big step towards recovery. For a number of years now, Shire has been benefiting from serious supply issues suffered by Genzyne, but yesterday the biotech firm appeared to turn a corner.

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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 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'