Life and Style

London-based company focused on “cutting edge artificial intelligence" could supply the brains for Google's burgeoning robotics division

Myleene Klass and Dannii Minogue in the new ad

Here comes the sun – and 2012's M&S campaign

Marks & Spencer debuted its summer advert last night, and after 2011's Miami-set extravaganza it has gone for a British theme, featuring egg and spoon races, rowing boats and more Union Jacks than a BNP convention. Fans of M&S' formulaic advertising won't be disappointed; this one ticks every box.

Real Madrid to open $1bn holiday resort in United Arab Emirates

Nine-times European champions Real Madrid have unveiled plans to build a $1 billion holiday resort in the United Arab Emirates that is due to open in January 2015.

Rock bands to create soundtracks for roller-coaster rides

It’s a captive audience for musicians, although stomach-churning nausea may be the most common response. Rock bands will create exclusive soundtracks for roller-coaster rides under a new deal agreed by EMI.

Stephen Foley: Disney deserves to pop the champagne corks

US Outlook It was, in the words of Neil Patrick Harris's medley of Disney tunes, a super-spicy-synergistic-glitzy-celebration. Emphasis on the synergistic.

Tilikum the orca performs at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida

Performing whales are not 'slaves', says US judge

The grand emancipation of America's popular performing orcas has been postponed, thanks to the not-so-startling conclusion of a district court judge in San Diego that, on balance, whales and humans are not the same thing.

Lo-Q wins contract for Legoland queuing system

Alternative Investment Market-listed Lo-Q has won another contract with Merlin Entertain- ments, which will see its queuing technology installed in the theme park operator's Legoland Deutschland, above. Lo-Q is the company behind the Q-bot, a device with which harassed parents at many British theme parks may already be familiar: it enables them to reserve times on busy rides rather than having to queue.

Yang Guang has been suffering from colic

Giant panda at Edinburgh Zoo sick with colic

The male giant panda at Edinburgh Zoo has been taken ill suffering from colic.

The Saturday Quiz answers

1. The Battle of the River Plate.

Independent Appeal: After being treated for cancer, Hanna needed help to be a teenager again

The Rainbow Trust's support workers show patients and families how to get back on track

Agyness Deyn will star in 'The Leisure Society'

Model performance: Agyness Deyn takes to the stage

Agyness Deyn is to attempt the transition from walking the catwalk to treading the boards, with a West End debut pencilled in for early next year. The role in The Leisure Society may not be too much of a problem for the supermodel, as it was described yesterday as a "toxic comedy" that offers a "glimpse into a grotesque world of self-indulgent excess". Ms Deyn will play Paula, a "promiscuous free spirit" invited to the dinner party of a self-obsessed professional couple that spirals out of control.

Sir David Attenborough: 'It's not falsehood and we don't keep it secret either'

Sir David Attenborough defends Frozen Planet zoo footage

Sir David Attenborough has defended using footage in his Frozen Planet series of a polar bear tending her newborn cubs that was shot in a zoo.

Travel Agenda: London's West End; Papaya Playa; low-cost Caribbean; Inghams' winter ski programme; Disneyland Paris Express

Today: The West End of London welcomes Christmas shoppers. Oxford Street and Regent Street are closed to traffic this weekend, opening up the roads to pedestrians (westendvip.com). Meanwhile in Tulúm on Mexico's Mayan Riviera, Design Hotels is hosting a pop-up beach camp of 99 rustic-chic cabanas. Papaya Playa is open to guests until 5 May 2012 (papayaplayaproject.com).

Edinburgh Zoo will pay China £600,000 a year for the pandas

£12,000 to see the pandas – with a buffet thrown in

First there was the prawn sandwich brigade, then the rubber chicken circuit. Now the corporate hospitality industry is bracing itself for the birth of the bamboo banquet.

Zoo to breed chimpanzees despite cruelty warning

A Scottish zoo is planning to start a new breeding programme for chimpanzees, in the wake of recent research suggesting that captivity drives chimps mad.

It's the end of the ride after China bans new theme parks

The rollercoaster ride is over. Fearful of a property bubble and risky spending, the Chinese government has called a halt to the building of new theme parks that would add to the hundreds already operating throughout the country.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
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Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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