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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.

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.

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

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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Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
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Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style