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Schoolteacher William Buchman was arrested after officers found over 300 living and dead snakes inside his property

Humans have thick skulls and dense bones - unlike modern apes, but in common with shallow diving mammals such as manatees and walrus

Did humans come from the seas instead of the trees? Much-derided theory of evolution about aquatic apes is debated in London

Scientists, academics and medics gather this week in a London hotel to discuss a topic that has been virtually unmentionable in academic circles for decades: are humans descended from “aquatic apes” that spent more time swimming than dragging their knuckles on  the ground?

Animal rights group defeated in move that would have opened up paid UK political advertising

An animal rights group has narrowly lost an attempt to open up paid political advertising in the UK.

Animal Defenders International hopes to overturn the ban on its primate ad

UK ban on political advertising may be lifted

Britain may be forced to lift its ban on political advertising when the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rules on its lawfulness tomorrow.

Editorial: Can money outdo democracy?

Some fear that we might legalise the indirect political TV campaigns of America

The Emperor's New Clothes (7 April 2013)

We all disapprove of hate and of crime. But put the two together and it's much less clear cut

£5 million-plus rescue package for Northern Ireland farmers hit by severe blizzards

A £5 million-plus rescue package will be offered to farmers who have lost livestock in the severe blizzards that have hit Northern Ireland, Stormont ministers have agreed.

Three animal rights protesters were branded with hot irons on the streets of Leeds in “solidarity” with animals in the livestock industry

Protesters branded in 'solidarity' with animals

Animal rights activists ignore police warnings they might be arrested for 'outraging decency'

Video: Elephant seal halts traffic in Brazil

A huge elephant seal has brought traffic to a standstill in Brazil after it swam out of the Atlantic and took a tour of Balneario Camboriu.

Wild world: Encounters with animals should be managed with care

Phil Mansbridge: The fragile bonds between tourism and wildlife

Something to declare

Student who fried a flatmate's hamster sentenced

The 21-year-old could not remember the drunken incident

Anthony Hilton: SFO is in a hole but it just goes on digging

There is surely something flawed in the decision by the Serious Fraud Office to hire Slaughter & May, the most expensive solicitors in London, to lead its defence against the action for wrongful arrest and damages brought by property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz.

Editorial: Tinkering with taxes will not boost the economy

The way to improve Britain’s taxation system is to make it simpler
Dr Juliane Kaminski of the University of Portsmouth's Department of Psychology with her dog

Dogs 'see things from a human point of view' - at least when it comes to stealing food

Pet dogs may understand a human’s point of view, according to new research which suggests they are more likely to steal food when they think that nobody can see them.

Green world: Bedgebury National Pinetum in Kent

Rob Cowen: A Noah's Ark of conifers just an hour south of London

Tales From The Trees

Yule Log, the overweight grey seal. Staff at the sanctuary said his lovable character and pleading eyes were hard to resist at feeding time

Hefty seal put on diet and exercise regime after piling on the pounds

A grey seal with a penchant for overeating has been put on a strict diet after gaining more than 124kg in just nine months.

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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
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?