News A man sits under the sun at the Centenario park in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The mercury rose to 45C in northern provinces of the country

Instructions for a Heatwave, By Maggie O'Farrell

A summer of drought, a sudden flight – and a family thirsty for answers

Australian bush fire

'Like summer on steroids': Australia’s hottest ever year blamed on climate change, with 'really frightening' temperatures in store

A climate “on steroids” was to blame for a summer of record-breaking heatwaves, severe bushfires, cyclones and floods, according to Australia’s leading climate change scientists.

Review: Instructions for a Heatwave, By Maggie O'Farrell

This humorous, humane and perceptive domestic saga broils with the resentments left behind by an absent husband and father

Holmes family, Tammy Holmes, second from left, and her grandchildren, two-year-old Charlotte Walker, left, four-year-old Esther Walker, third from left, nine-year-old Liam Walker, eleven-year-old Matilda, second from right, and six-year-old Caleb Walker, right, take refuge under a jetty as a wildfire rages near-by in the Tasmanian town of Dunalley, Australia

Family took refuge in a lake to escape the Aussie bushfires

As scores of fires continued to burn the length of eastern Australia today, a remarkable survival story emerged from Tasmania, where five young children escaped a blaze that destroyed about 90 properties in their village by sheltering under a boat jetty with their grandparents.

A patch of purple, indicating 50+ degrees C, is visible on this temperature chart

Purple alert! Australian heatwave forces climate experts to use new colour to represent extreme temperatures

Australian Bureau of Meteorology adds two entirely new colours – deep purple and pink – to show the new extreme range on its interactive weather maps

Kathy Marks: 'Heat is on and I can't thank electrician enough'

I love my electrician. I love him because before he disappeared on a month-long break, as many Australians do in January, he installed a ceiling fan in my house. Without that fan, I’m not sure I would have survived today. I sat under it all day, and so did my dog.

A resident from the Stevenage area ticked off the right numbers but hasn't claimed the big prize

Residents of Hitchin conduct frantic last-minute search for largest ever unclaimed National Lottery winning ticket

Lost: one lottery ticket, somewhere in the Stevenage area. Value: until last night, around £64m.

Find the natural beauty in Australia’s harsh ‘Red Centre’

The Lonely Planet Adventures: The Larapinta Trail

In 1908, it was called the finest walk in the world. It's still the country's most popular hike

Owen Jones: Let's rise to climate change challenge

It isn't half nippy out, and with Britain about to be plunged into an increasingly familiar cold snap, it might seem a bit of an odd time to bring up climate change. Weather and climate are two different things, though I'm not alone in hearing grumbling about Britain missing out on the perks of global warming. But the truth is that the state of our planet is way down the list of our priorities. Despite the dedicated efforts of climate-change-denying flat-earthers, 57 per cent of us accept climate change is happening and is mostly down to the actions of humans, according to a poll by ICM a few months ago. But surveys show that our interest in the subject has long been waning.

Scientists find Earth-like planet Alpha Centauri Bb in neighbouring star system but rule-out possibility of life thanks to its 1,500C surface

The planet is the closest and smallest among about 800 'exoplanets' that scientists have identified beyond the Solar System since 1995 when they detected the first extra-solar planet.

Leading article: Melting ice in a still-warming world

The record retreat of the ice sheet covering the Arctic Ocean, confirmed by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, is a dramatically visible marker of the effect of climate change on the planet; indeed, it is the most discernible and convincing sign, currently, of global warming.

Morning glory: September brings golden dawns

Matthew Bell: Hurrah for September, when normal life resumes

I hope for an Indian summer, a full diary and a late break

Chris Froome leads Alberto Contador yesterday

Froome keeps his cool as German tyro takes stage

Team Sky's Chris Froome remains one second off the lead after Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez finished safely in the bunch on the fifth stage of the Vuelta a España yesterday.

Chris Froome leads Alberto Contador yesterday

Vuelta a Espana: Chris Froome keeps cool in blistering heat but German sprinter John Degenkolb takes stage

Team Sky's Chris Froome remains one second off the lead after Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez finished safely in the bunch on the fifth stage of the Vuelta a Espana yesterday.

A forlorn Stuart Broad, while Amla gallops towards yet another century

Errors set to hand match, series and No 1 ranking to South Africa

Gradually, inexorably, the match, the series and the status slipped through England's hands yesterday. Some time today, barring a resplendent and historic batting performance, South Africa will win the fourth Test and the rubber 2-0, becoming the world's top-ranked side.

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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable