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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

A self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combining 66 exposures taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 177th Martian day

Thanks to Mastcam, Nasa finds more signs of Mars water

More signs of past water on Mars have been uncovered by the American space agency Nasa's Curiosity rover.

Photography book of the week: Black Maps - American Landscape and the Apocalyptic Sublime, By David Maisel

"These photographs," writes David Maisel, one of a group of landscape photographers dubbed "the New Topographics", "depict the landscape of the American West as the site of human-induced trauma."

Jim Armitage: Blair's repeated Guinea trips raise eyebrows over his connections

Global Outlook: It is his mixture of charity and business that can leave questions to be answered

Must watch: Chicago TV reports breaking news of plane crash, only to discover it was TV show set

BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!!!! Plane crashes into highway! Oh wait...that's just a TV set.

Soil on Mars 'is like Hawaii'

Scientists say the Martian soil at NASA's Curiosity Rover's landing site contains minerals similar to that found on Hawaii's Mauna Kea volcano.

Pupils to learn Asian languages to improve trade

All schoolchildren will be able to learn Chinese, Hindi, Japanese or Indonesian under a new government strategy to increase Australia's engagement with Asia.

Market Report: Court ruling gives Pathfinder a boost

Shares in Pathfinder Minerals shot up like a rocket yesterday, more than doubling after the Aim-listed miner won a landmark, High Court ruling in a dispute with a former African director over who owns its key asset.

Nasa releases first Mars images from Curiosity rover

Nasa yesterday showed off the first high-resolution, colour portrait images taken by the Mars rover Curiosity, detailing a mound of layered rock where scientists plan to focus their search for the chemical ingredients of life on the Red Planet.

Abigail Disney, great-niece of Walt

Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company

Abigail Disney – filmmaker, philanthropist and great-niece of the legendary animator Walt Disney – has publicly renounced her share of the family profits from an Israeli firm she claims is exploiting "occupied natural resources".

Pathfinder Minerals to relist in London after Britain steps into licensing row

Shares in Pathfinder Minerals, the Mozambique-focused miner which suspended trading in November, will relist in London today after an intervention by the UK Government.

One of Potash Corp's mines in Saskatchewan, Canada, where a foreign takeover was bitterly opposed

Firm hopes promise of jobs will gather support for potash plans

"There's potash in them thar hills" might lack the potency of the Klondike's rallying cry, but the discovery is causing passions to run high in the North York Moors.

How Whitby fell victim to potash fertiliser fury

Deep beneath the cherished North York Moors lies a valuable mineral that is dividing local people

Mining firm hails Moors mineral find

A mining company says it has found the world's biggest and best quality supply of a valuable mineral under the North York Moors National Park.

James Cameron explored another frontier in a dive to the Pacific's depths

From the depths to the heavens: star director sets out to mine asteroids

After his journey to the bottom of the sea, James Cameron has a new far-flung idea

Hot lips: The best red lipsticks

1. Lipstick in Pleasure Me Red

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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 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before