Sport Roy Hodgson is hoping the extra day in Manaus will aid the players' acclimatisation

The FA have confirmed that England will face two South American sides in the build-up to Brazil 2014 in an effort to prepare for the threat that Uruguay will pose

Competition: Win a trip to Ecuador

The Independent Traveller and Wanderlust magazine have once again teamed up to present the Travel Photo of the Year competition. The winners get the chance to see their shots printed in The Independent Traveller and Wanderlust, as well as receiving a photographic commission to Ecuador, and Nikon camera equipment.

Maierhofer joins Wolves

Austrian international striker Stefan Maierhofer, a former chef who only became a professional footballer when he was 22, has became Wolverhampton Wanderers ninth new signing since they won promotion.

The Big Six: Latin American island retreats

Discover dazzling beaches and captivating views at one of these heavenly hideaways

Guerrero flair delights Coyle

The Burnley manager Owen Coyle will continue to play exciting football as he targets Premier League safety and cup success.

Castro: a healthier picture emerges

A photograph of Fidel Castro printed by one of Cuba’s official newspapers has shown the 83-year-old former president apparently in good health, after illness forced him out of the public eye three years ago.

Travel by numbers: Ecuador

In equatorial South America, wildlife, culture and dramatic scenery add up to one spectacular destination

On The Road: A week is a long time in Ecuadorean Oriente

I've endured a gruelling 24-hour bus trip to the remote 'village' of Morona, deep in the southern Ecuadorean Oriente, which turns out to be a couple of wooden shacks standing self-consciously by the riverbank. To make matters worse, the driver then informs me that this bus isn't returning to Cuenca for a week. Step forward Pedro, head of a local Shuar family that are about to take a canoe upriver to their finca, or farmstead. They're keen to have me as a guest for a few days in exchange for me paying the cost of the canoe trip.

After 15 years' foreplay, tortoise finally mates

Lonesome George, the world's most inveterate bachelor, may finally be about to settle down.

Woman to auction virginity to pay for her mother's care

A young woman living in Valencia has put her virginity up for auction to pay for care for her mother who is suffering from Alzheimer's.

Caicedo and Garrido prepare to leave City

further vestiges of Manchester City's Sven Goran Eriksson era seem likely to be swept away, with a loan deal under discussion that would take striker Felipe Caicedo to Sporting Lisbon and a possible move to Racing Santander for Javier Garrido.

Win a trip to Ecuador!

Fantastic prizes in the Travel Photo of the Year competition

Desperate bid to save finches that changed the world

British conservationists are to launch an ambitious project to safeguard the future of a colony of Galapagos finches which inspired Charles Darwin to formulate his radical theory of evolution.

Johann Hari: A fight for the Amazon that should inspire the world

The uprising In the Amazon is more urgent than Iran's - it will determine the future of the planet

Transfer Talk: 13/06/2009

They shoot...

Barça in for Benayoun

Yossi Benayoun has distanced himself from a move to European Champions Barcelona, but admits he will have to discuss his future with Liverpool.

Birmingham sign Ecuador striker Benitez

Birmingham have beaten off competition from top European clubs to sign Ecuador striker Christian Benitez from Mexican side Santos Laguna.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
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In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
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11 best face powders

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Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

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Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

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America’s new apartheid

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