News An aerial picture of the Grand Canyon in Arizona from around 30,000 feet (10,000m)

It was thought that the global landmark was perhaps 70million years old

Tea Party holds US – and the world – to ransom

Despite backing a two-stage debt deal last night, a rump of far-right Republicans is blocking progress on the budget deficit

Embassy kept in the dark as guns smuggled into Mexico

More than 2,000 weapons were allowed to 'walk' from Texas and Arizona gun shops during the operation

Simon Bond: Cartoonist and illustrator best known for his book ‘101 Uses of a Dead Cat’

Though he had worked as a stand-up comedian, as a dealer in antiquarian prints and paintings, and as a writer and publisher, Simon Bond was best known as a cartoonist and illustrator, notably creating the international bestseller, 101 Uses of a Dead Cat.

Temperatures reach 40C in American heatwave

You could be forgiven for thinking it's summer.

Nerveless Laugher springs forth as world-class talent

Double world junior champion Jack Laugher hopes he can one day enjoy his time in the spotlight currently occupied by Tom Daley after an eighth-placed finish in the 3 metre springboard final on his World Championships debut yesterday that belied his 16 years.

Casey admits health concern as Lawrie hits rock bottom

The expensively equipped European Tour physiotherapy truck looking after players at The Open offers massages for aching backs but could do nothing to help the bruised egos that have trudged off Royal St George's in the past three days.

Forget the Tea Party – here comes the Tequila Party

Hispanics are the fastest growing minority in the US – and a new group wants to get them in the voting spirit

Fan saved from home run plunge

A baseball fan in Arizona narrowly escaped a 20ft plunge when he tried to catch a ball heading into the stands, less than a week after a father in Texas died in a similar accident.

Phoenix battered by dust storm

A massive dust storm descended on the Phoenix area in Arizona, drastically reducing visibility and delaying flights as strong winds uprooted trees and left thousands of residents without power.

Fifty mile wide dust storm engulfs Phoenix

A massive dust storm has descended on the Phoenix area, drastically reducing visibility and delaying flights as strong winds toppled trees and caused power cuts for thousands of residents in the valley.

Active Travel: Wild at heart in Ethiopia

A trek into the soaring Simien mountains reveals rare sights and sounds for Kate Eshelby

Fear and loving: The two-edged charm of the snake

The accidental death of a cobra-lover has highlighted the strange passion some feel for serpents. Michael Bywater tries to explain

History in the making at Reading Festival

It’s a big year for the Reading and Leeds Festivals. Not only is it 50 years this summer since Harold Pendleton, founder of the Marquee Club in London, launched the events’ precursor, the National Jazz Festival, but it’s also the 40th anniversary of the Reading site’s initiation. To celebrate four decades of revelry at Richfield Avenue we’ve taken a look back at some of the defining moments of this most beloved of festivals.

Inside the secret world of the geeks with the power to unleash anarchy

Jerome Taylor tracked down one of Britain's most feared hackers to find out what motivates this new criminal underworld

LulzSec claims to have hacked Arizona police

Lulz Security, the notorious group of online activists, has released "sensitive" data it claims to have taken from a US police force, including personal emails, officers' names, phone numbers, addresses and passwords.

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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003