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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee