News

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

Letter: The real victims of war

Sir: The real apology is owed not by Japan to British war veterans but by Britain, France, Portugal, the Netherlands - and indeed Japan - to the native peoples of South-east Asia, none of whom asked to be fought over or conquered, or to have their land and minerals stolen from them, or to be treated like inferior beings in their own countries. The conscripts sent to defend the evils of those empires should direct their complaints to those who drafted them.

Staveley chief quits on profit warning

STAVELEY, the troubled engineering and minerals group, yesterday announced the departure of its chief executive along with a profit warning and the long-awaited sale of its two measurement businesses.

Hunt is on for new English gold mine

A COMPANY hoping to start England's first commercial gold mine will resume exploratory drilling today at a secret location.

National Park orders company to stop quarrying in Peaks

NATIONAL PARK officials yesterday ordered a halt to quarrying in a top beauty spot. The move followed a meeting of the Peak District National Park Authority into a proposal from RMC Roadstone to extract a million tons a year of limestone from Backdale Quarry at Longstone Edge, near Bakewell, in Derbyshire.

Falklands diamond find

A British prospecting company has been granted a six-year licence by the Falkland Islands government to search for diamonds. Surveys in East Island have yielded "indicator minerals" - such as pyrope garnets and chrome spinels - that suggest the presence of diamond deposits.

Earthquakes: Scientists struggle with predictions

Last July a panel of Japanese seismological experts admitted, for the first time, that they were unlikely to be able to predict when a catastrophic earthquake would happen, because predicting earthquakes was (to quote them) "difficult".

Carving out a living

Sculpture of any sort is a long and laborious process, involving hours of painstaking work. But when your medium is ice and the end result is destined to be a pool of water before you can say "ice-pick", why bother?

Environment: Asbestos not as risky as believed

A new study into the use of asbestos materials and man-made mineral fibres in homes shows there is little risk to health if managed and treated correctly. The study, Fibrous Materials in the Environment, looked at the risks from environmental exposure to asbestos and man-made mineral fibres at home. It was commissioned by the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions.

Liberia confusion hits minerals firm

Commonwealth Gold, a minerals company capitalised at pounds 30m whose shares trade over the counter on the volatile Ofex exchange, may have to cut earnings projections as a result of deep confusion over its interests in war-torn Liberia.

Hunt for children who played with asbestos

Police yesterday visited several Birmingham schools in an attempt to trace a group of children seen playing with blue asbestos illegally dumped on waste ground.

Hello Mars, is anyone at home?

Why Mars? Not just, scientists now argue, because (like Everest) it's there. After the discovery last August of possible traces of fossilised past life in a Martian meteorite, the question now is: could life have once existed there, and might it still do so?

T&N shares plunge on asbestos ruling

Investors in T&N, the car part manufacturer that used to be one of the world's largest asbestos producers, yesterday took fright of news that the company had lost an important American legal battle over future asbestos claims. Almost pounds 90m was wiped off the value of T&N as the shares plunged by more than 10 per cent to 143p on the news, which came just before the stock market closed.

Correction: Asbestos: a correction

As a result of a transcription error in last week's article on asbestos by Jeff Howell, the phrase reading: "...asbestos covered sheeting can be removed if damaged..." should in fact have read: "...asbestos cement sheeting can be removed if dampened..."

If you thought you knew about asbestos, think again

You could still be exposing yourself to danger when doing DIY.

Staveley to cut more jobs and sell division

Staveley Industries, the measurement, mechanical engineering and minerals company, yesterday announced further job cuts and the sale of one of its divisions in an attempt to stave off further losses.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project