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Colonel Meow, the cat with the longest fur in the world and the brooding face of an evil genius, has sadly passed away.

Jiroemon Kimura, 115, became the oldest man in recorded history on Friday, according to record keepers.

Japanese 115-year-old becomes oldest man in recorded history

Jiroemon Kimura, a 115-year-old Japanese man born when Queen Victoria still reigned over the British Empire, became the oldest man in recorded history on Friday, according to record keepers.

The most terrifying spider in the world builds a fake spider decoy to trick its victims

If you thought the film Arachnophobia was the scariest thing you've seen - probably best to stop reading now.

'World's oldest person' Besse Cooper dies aged 116

The woman who was listed as the world's oldest person has died in a Georgia nursing home at age 116.

Perfect presents: Our colour-coded Christmas gift guide

Don't want to be blue this Christmas? Then try purple or green or pink or gold!

Tight fit: Emily Dugan, in front seat, joins the group in a rehearsal for the world record attempt in the original Mini

28 women to try to squeeze into a Mini on Guinness World Records day

Emily Dugan gets a taste of the record-breaking attempt

Message in a bottle from 1914 fished from sea

A message in a bottle hauled from the depths by a fishing boat has set a new world record for the length of time spent at sea, beating the previous record by more than five years.

Oldest living sisters Dorothy Richards and Marjorie Ruddle clock up 213 years

Two centenarians were recognised yesterday as the world's oldest siblings.

The World's tallest tower Tokyo Skytree opens

The world's tallest tower and Tokyo's biggest new landmark, the Tokyo Sky Tree, has opened to the public.

Beyonce as she is fed in El Dorado Hills, California

'Beyonce' the Dachshund mix makes bid to be named world's smallest dog

A puppy named after one of the world's biggest pop stars could set the world record for the tiniest dog.

David and Louise Estes' daughter Jade was born on Wednesday morning in Provo, near Salt Lake City, Utah

Woman has third consecutive leap year baby

Three American siblings have equalled a world record set in the 1960s by each being born on three consecutive leap year days.

Chun Chun's parents are average size and there was nothing unusual about his mother's pregnancy or diet

Giant baby causes a stir in China

A mother in central China has given birth to a 15.52lb (7.04kg) baby, possibly the largest newborn on record since the country's founding in 1949.

Laura Dekker's feat has caused controversy among Dutch officials, who thought it would interfere with school

Dutch teenager sets new solo sailing record

Sixteen-year-old battles seas, and child welfare authorities, to become youngest to sail the globe

Profile: Diana Ross

At 24 inches tall, Indian student is named world's shortest woman

A student in central India was recognised as the world's shortest woman yesterday as she celebrated her 18th birthday.

Oldest dog dies aged 26 in Japan

The world's oldest dog has died in Japan aged 26 years and eight months. Pusuke, a fluffy tan shiba mix, died after suddenly falling ill and refusing to eat.

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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