Leading article: An issue of dignity that can no longer be avoided

Even with all the benefits of medicine, the terminally ill may face extreme pain and indignity
Fire crews fight the blazes in Chile's Torres del Paine national park which have been raging since Tuesday

Wildfires devastate Chilean wilderness

Wildfires sweeping through one of South America's most famous national parks are devastating thousands of acres of pristine habitat. So far, more than 21,000 acres of Torres del Paine have been destroyed by blazes that have yet to be brought under control.

Lesser celandine Ranunculus ficaria This yellow star is normally the first spring flower (snowdrops being winter flowers) and normally appears in early March, but parts of December were so mild that it was flowering in the west country

The year of strange weather

From a baking-hot spring to a chilly summer, 2011 played havoc with our plans, our wardrobes – and our native wildlife.

Lesser celandine Ranunculus ficaria This yellow star is normally the first spring flower (snowdrops being winter flowers) and normally appears in early March, but parts of December were so mild that it was flowering in the west country

The year of strange weather

From a baking-hot spring to a chilly summer, 2011 played havoc with our plans, our wardrobes – and our native wildlife. Michael McCarthy reports

Fast-finishing Hoey adds to McIlroy's frustration

Just when Rory McIlroy believed he was finally following up his US Open win, a little-known countryman rose to snatch the Dunhill Links crown from his grasp. Michael Hoey kept Northern Ireland's incredible run going with an inspired finish at the Home of Golf.

Invasion of the falcons: The peregrine is back in town

After decades of declining numbers, the world's fastest creature is populating Britain's cities once again. One pair has even set up home at Tate Modern

London's a real hoot after dark, say twitchers

London's nightlife will come under the spotlight in a novel way this summer when the public take part in a survey of the capital's owls.

Leading article: Streetwise

If the full-throated ease of the fabled nightingale is no longer to be heard in Berkeley Square, we now know why. A tawny owl has been spotted there, which is enough to frighten off the light-winged dryad of Keats's melodious imagination. It has followed the fox and the seagull as part of the encroachment of country upon town which has been a feature of our landscape.

Record sightings as red kites enjoy second wind

Red kites, the majestic birds of prey which 20 years ago were one of Britain's rarest creatures and confined to the Welsh mountains, are now being regularly seen in gardens around Britain, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has found.

Get top price tickets to see Little Eagles for just £15

Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first orbit around the earth, Rona Munro’s Little Eagles is a gripping new play charting the space race from the perspective of the Soviet Union. It brings to life the fascinating and little-known story of the brilliant man behind their success, Sergei Korolyov, and of the cosmonauts, his beloved ‘little eagles’.

My Natural History, By Simon Barnes

A lucky encounter with an ugly bat can change a life

Sport of kings takes wing once again

It's boom time for falconry as breeders struggle to cope with upsurge of interest among the young

Regal Eagles carries Burnley through

Burnley 3 Burton Albion 1
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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 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before