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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
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 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor