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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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence