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Why sloths descend from the safety of the trees once a week to go to the toilet has baffled scientists - but one specialist thinks he has the answer

Postcard from... Bangalore

The two sisters sat in the airport lounge, waiting for their flight to Kerala. It was delayed. They were keen to get going. Their mother had died the day before and they were going to settle her affairs. “She had a good life. She lived to 97,” explained one of the sisters. “You know what her secret was? Coconuts.”

Market Report: Newbies pushed into the red

Newly promoted stocks across the Footsie were yesterday welcomed with a round of profit-taking pushing the newbies into the red.

Anglo American new boss admits mining giant must dig deeper to recover

The new chief executive of mining giant Anglo American today conceded he had a major job on his hands rebooting a company that lagged its rivals during the boom years of mining.

Artistic illustration of Europa's icy surface with a water jet in the foreground and Jupiter and the Sun in the background

New research raises hopes of finding alien life on Jupiter's icy moon Europa

Scientists believe life may exist within underground ocean - living off minerals and using tidal heat as a source of energy

Market Report: AZ Electronic Materials is about to bid auf Wiedersehen

In the midst of London’s stock market IPO boom, one mid-tier technology group is about to bid auf Wiedersehen.

Bumi investors move closer to Bakrie split-up

Shareholders will vote on the separation on the week commencing 16 December

Kloppers picks up $16 million in his final year at BHP Billiton

Marius Kloppers, one of the biggest names in world mining, was paid $16 million (£10 million) in his  final year leading BHP Billiton, it emerged today.

Taking Aim with your tax-free savings

Despite its reputation as being a market of risky stocks, Aim-listed shares are proving increasingly popular with holders of tax-free Individual Savings Accounts (Isas).

Unicef bought enough of the peanut-based paste (seen in use, above, and inset below) to feed two million children, a 15-fold increase over the past eight years

Plumpy'Nut: The lifesaver that costs... well, peanuts

A nut paste used as a home-grown weapon in Africa's struggle against acute child malnutrition goes global

The Amazon’s eco-systems have been damaged

How extinction of five-tonne sloths slows up growth along the Amazon

Region now lacking the fertilising effect provided by South America's distinctive 'mega-fauna' - which has led to a serious imbalance of soil minerals

The former minerals minister, Ian Macdonald, allegedly passed on inside information

A multi-million-dollar mining licence, a murder suspect and a prostitute called Tiffanie: Australia rocked by inquiry into ex-ministers

Two former New South Wales Labor Party ministers facing potential criminal charges and long jail sentences

Insects such as these fried grasshoppers are considered a delicacy in some countries

UN has a new nutritional, sustainable diet for a hungry world: insects

The solution to world poverty may have been under our noses all along. The United Nations has issued official advice suggesting that Earth’s inhabitants eat insects to help combat food-insecurity and reduce pollution worldwide.

Market Report: Sirius takes a big crash on its potash

A visit by inspectors from North York Moors national park caused jitters in the City yesterday for potash miner Sirius Minerals.

Coventry taps into mineral wealth for UK’s tastiest water

The debate about which British region boasts the tastiest tap water has finally been settled with an unlikely winner: it comes not from “hard” northern or “soft” southern waters but from the middle of Britain – in Coventry.

China: no signs of life as landslide buries 83 at Tibet gold mine

No signs of life have been detected at a gold mining site in a mountainous area of Tibet more than 24 hours after a massive landslide buried 83 workers, Chinese state media said today.

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Independent Travel
Panama
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
Bruges
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world