News The more modern town of Salford, where the latest investment of the English Cities Fund is expected to be announced

Could Britain’s chronic housing shortage be solved by using insurers’ assets? Jamie Dunkley and Russell Lynch report

Eric Pickles speaking at the conference today

Government review of affordable housing 'will deny millions a home' 'will deny millions chance to own home'

Nearly two million families could lose their only chance of a home if developers are freed from the legal obligation to build houses at "affordable" prices, critics warned yesterday.

Environment Minister Tony Burke

Australia plans marine reserve the size of India

Australia has announced an ambitious plan to create the world's largest network of marine reserves, with fishing to be restricted and oil and gas exploration banned in the most sensitive areas.

Labour attacks 'Minister for Daybreak'

He is the Government’s most prolific media operators.

Bee populations have declined dramatically in recent decades

Pesticide that kills bees ‘must be banned’

The Government has been accused of failing to act on increasing evidence of the environmental damage done by "nerve-agent" pesticides, after France banned a pesticide product still widely in use by British farmers on their crops.

Black bear put down after eating Canadian murderer

Canadian conservation officers have put down a black bear which they think ate the remains of a convicted murderer.

Unesco fears the health of the Great Barrier Reef is at risk from development of sites such as Origin Energy’s coal seam gas plant

Queensland dismisses UN report that reef is 'at risk'

Across the globe, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is recognised as one of the world’s natural wonders. But in Queensland, home to the vast, picturesque reef, the government is apparently less impressed.

Communities offered £17m cash boost

Communities in England were today offered £17 million to help them take advantage of a new scheme allowing them to build facilities like family homes, shops, children's playgrounds and community halls.

ANGELA MERKEL: German leader’s party suffered its worst defeat in North Rhine Westphalia

Angela Merkel's party humiliated by shock election defeat

German voters reject austerity programme in favour of pro-growth opposition in state poll

It is unclear whether a virus or underwater sound waves from oil exploration are causing the deaths

Mystery of mass dolphin deaths in Peru

Maritime scientists in Peru are trying to solve a mystery that has turned stretches of the country's beaches into a grim dolphin morgue.

Scientists continue to investigate dolphin deaths off Peru

Scientists and Peruvian officials are investigating a mass die-off of hundreds of dolphins along the South American country's coast.

Submerged vessel 'may be war grave'

A suspected submerged submarine has been discovered in Northern Ireland, the Government has said.

Rescue workers in the collapsed mine

Nine trapped miners rescued after Peru cave-in

Nine miners have been rescued after spending five days trapped in a collapsed gold and copper mine in Peru.

Highest water bills set to be cut by £50

Britain's highest water bills are set to be cut by £50 a year after a £400 million handout to a private company cleared Parliament tonight.

President Sarkozy at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school

Did campaign that played to the far right trigger actions of killer?

The horrific school killings in Toulouse fell like a bombshell on the French presidential election campaign.

There were 2,181 rough sleepers in England in 2011, up 413 from 1,768 on the same night the previous year

Rough sleeping in England up by 23 per cent

New data has revealed the number of people sleeping rough in England has risen by 23 per cent in a year.

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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 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own