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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.”

Letters: Big Brother Britain

State security machine reaches over the bank counter

Dominic Lawson: So now we will have degrees in quackery

What, really, is the difference between acupuncture and psychic surgery?

How to beat backache

Four out of five of us will suffer at some time – but not for the reasons we think. Alison Taylor consults the experts and sets the record straight on beds, bad posture and bending

Paperback: Suckers, by Rose Shapiro

This ferocious assault on the evidence-free mountebanks who peddle alternative medicine, and the dupes who fund them, is a bracing tonic. From aromatherapy to "zero balancing", Shapiro runs through the alphabet of false claims and dud research, exposing quackery. She mounts a terrific defence of science against superstition. But something's gone wrong with the tone – a sneery arrogance that (as with the Ayurvedic tradition) can only bother to caricature its few substantial foes.

Acupuncture may increase chances of success in IVF

Acupuncture may offer a cheap, safe and efficient way of boosting success rates in fertility treatment, researchers have found.

Our bees are disappearing - but you can help save them

As Britain's natural environment is being gradually degraded, with the demise of traditional hedgerows, hay meadows, chalk grassland and wildflowers, the intensification of farming and the widening use of pesticides, our bumblebee population is steadily vanishing.

The Ten Best: Health websites

Gwyneth lives by it, and thousands of others as well, but are they being taken for a ride?

From crystals to cranio-sacral treatment, it's a booming business. But does any of it work?

Charles attacked over `hair-raising' and `dangerous' alternative therapies

A new book issued by the Prince of Wales's foundation to promote alternative health therapies has been condemned as unscientific and potentially dangerous by the country's leading authority on complementary medicine.
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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement