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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.”

Master the mountain: Snowsports can be daunting. Self-hypnosis or extra lessons can help nervous skiers

Feel the fear and ski anyway

After five years away from the slopes, Tracey Davies found the prospect of heading back to the piste terrifying. But a chance encounter taught her a new way to cope with her nerves

Simon Kelner: Jobs was admirable, yes, but spare me the details

A lmost every day, this column is written on an iPad. It is the single most impressive, most useful, most versatile piece of technology of my lifetime.

Verdi Simon Boccanegra, English National Opera

It doesn’t take long to establish that there is an extraordinary director at work here. The body language, the tangible involvement of every character on stage, the way in which emotional journeys are charted and feelings expressed not just in song but in the involuntary sounds that people make when they communicate joy, anger, hatred. Dmitri Tcherniakov understands that the bigger the statement the more it needs to be rooted in truth.

Milly Dowler's mother sobs in witness box

Milly Dowler's mother collapsed in tears today after being questioned about her daughter's last few days.

Paedophile jailed for 16 years

A paedophile whose partner is accused of murdering their two children in a Spanish hotel has been jailed for 16 years.

Nowegian Wood (15)

Starring: Kenichi Matsuyama, Rinko Kikuchi, Kengo Kôra

Edzard Ernst: We need less opinion and more scientific research

There is no good evidence to show that the prescriptions of herbalists do more good than harm

Man found guilty of using hypnotism to abuse girl

A man whose partner is accused of murdering their two children is facing jail after using hypnotism and violence to sexually abuse a girl.

George Thomas: Alternative medicine - why it can do more harm than good

Flying from India to attend the Battle of Ideas festival last month, I spoke on the panel of a lively debate entitled “Alternative medicine: the pros and cons”, where I outlined the reasons why I oppose alternative and complementary medicine.

Government ignored our advice on homeopathic remedies, say experts

Treatments still funded on NHS despite lack of proof that they work

Magnets can improve Alzheimer's symptoms

To sceptics of alternative medicine, it will come as a surprise. Applying magnets to the brains of Alzheimer's disease sufferers helps them understand what is said to them. The finding by Italian scientsts, who conducted a randomised controlled trial of the treatment, suggests that magnets may alter "cortical activity" in the brain, readjusting unhealthy patterns caused by disease or damage. The study was small, involving just 10 patients, and the results are preliminary.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Scientists don't always know best

Sometimes we are duped by charlatans who make us believe they can relieve or cure illnesses

Acupuncture 'can act as pain relief'

Scientists have identified a mechanism which explains why acupuncture can be effective at relieving pain. Researchers found that adenosine, a natural compound with painkilling and anti-inflammatory properties, is produced in tissues where needles are inserted.

Rare rhino killed in national park

A javan rhino, one of the world's rarest large mammals, has been found shot dead with its horn chopped off in a national park.

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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 15 May 2015
Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks