Voices

Every penny raised in the elephant appeal will be spent directly on wildlife conservation projects in Africa. Here's how.

Kia edges up some UK prices

Kia is adjusting some of its prices upwards by three to four per cent with effect from the beginning of April. Some of the company's more recent models, the Sorento, the Venga and the Soul, are excluded from the rise, which the company is attributing to increased production and shipping costs, as well as currency movements. Kia's UK cars are produced either in the company's home market, Korea or at its new state-of-the-art plant at Zilina in Slovakia.

Leading article: Hup, two, three, four

For anyone who has seen Disney's The Jungle Book, it comes as no surprise that elephants move not like a front or rear wheel drive but like a 4x4, with all legs capable of pushing or braking. The only question is whether they can cross their legs at the same time, as they do in the film.

The natural world's very own 4x4s

Elephants move like a 4x4 vehicle with all four legs used to accelerate and brake rather than the "rear-wheel" drive and "front-wheel" braking of other animals.

Hyundai iX35

Hyundai's iX35 is an SUV – ideal for people who don't really like SUVs

Skoda Superb estate goes on sale

The estate version of Skoda's impressive Superb is now on sale in the UK. Prices start at £17,715, which represents only a small premium over the existing hatchback/saloon model, as well as being highly competitive with mainstream rivals such as the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia, and with the estate models of the German prestige brands.

Car Choice: Safe, sturdy, and room for growing kids...plus a cello

Christine Farris has written her Vauxhall Agila off in the recent cold snap. Not her fault – she hit some black ice and could not stop, until she made contact with some dustbins and then a gate. Safety is now a priority, as is more room, because she needs space for two growing daughters and a cello. Her budget is £4,000 to £5,000, and Car Choice has agreed to be on call for 24 hours to help get Christine sorted out.

Britain braced for floods as more torrential rain predicted

Parts of the UK were bracing themselves for flooding this weekend after predictions the torrential rain which claimed the life of one motorist would intensify tomorrow.

River search over 4x4 plunge

A major search was launched today after a 4x4 vehicle was found almost totally submerged in a river, under a bridge.

Car Choice: Nothing like a head-on crash to get you thinking about safety

Jady Newton's Suzuki Jimny was written off in a head-on collision with a car that was on the wrong side of the road. As both airbags were deployed, it has made her think a lot more about safety. She has £3,600 to buy a new car, which must have airbags, be no more than seven years old, and is not French. Jady would like a car that is interesting – and realises that she might be asking a bit too much.

Toyota Land Cruiser

It’s the perfect vehicle for these frozen times

Heavy snow plunges Britain back into chaos

Return to work after Christmas break hampered by severe blizzards

Mini reinvents the Moke with Beachcomber concept

BMW's Mini operation has released details of its Beachcomber concept car, which it will show at the North American International Motor Show in Detroit next month. The inspiration is the simple 1960s open-topped Mini-Moke but the new concept, like 2008's Crossover concept, is really designed to show off the possibilities of the larger, more sophisticated new four-door, four-wheel drive model family that will be added to the current Mini range late next year.

Renault’s Dacia launches the Duster 4x4 - but not for the UK

Dacia has released details of its new Duster 4x4, but there's still no sign that cars from Renault's Romanian budget brand will make it to the UK any time soon; unofficial indications point to 2011 at the earliest for that.

Drunk driver who killed child loses appeal

A drunk driver jailed for seven years for killing a 15-month-old boy lost an appeal against her sentence today.

Blaze deaths prompt arson investigation

Detectives were investigating today whether a blaze that killed a mother and her "beautiful" three-year-old girl was started deliberately.



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Independent Travel
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Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas