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The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

NSA infiltrated more than 100,000 offline computers using covert devices, says leaks

The intelligence agency reportedly inserted radio-transmitters into computers via spies and unwitting users to crack disconnected devices

The late Sam Berns (centre) with his parents Scott Berns and Leslie Gordon at the 18th Annual Nantucket Film Festival in June 2013.

Sam Berns: Funeral held for inspirational teenager with an ageing disorder

Well-wishers queued outside to pay their respects at the temple where the 17-year-old was laid to rest

Liz Cheney is dropping off the Senate race

Liz Cheney daughter of former Vice-President Dick pulls out of Senate primary

Liz Cheney, the daughter of the former Vice-President Dick Cheney, is abandoning her attempt to win a seat in the Senate, according to reports.

Ned Vizzini: Writer

Author whose accounts of his battles with depression gave hope to young people who were similarly afflicted

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (right) and David Cameron (L) view an honour guard during a welcoming ceremony inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China

'Censorship' row overshadows David Cameron trip to woo China

Downing St make official complaint after financial journalist on PM's delegation banned from only official public event

Protesters call for press freedom in support of journalists from the ‘Southern Weekend’ in Guangzhou in January

Leading Bloomberg writer leaves China office after story ditched

It is another example of Beijing’s increasing pressure on foreign news organisations to drop embarrassing stories about the country's leaders

US network operators reject plans for mandatory smartphone kill switch

Software to deter theft will not be pre-installed on Samsung smartphones, with networks fearing profitable insurance policies will be affected

Wrong words: Senator Rand Paul has been castigated for using unattributed material

As somebody else once said... Kentucky senator Rand Paul exposed for plagiarism

Out of America: He has been nailed for using in a book of his a passage taken from Forbes magazine – but only in America could it threaten his promising career

Google's 'shared endorsements' means your reviews might appear in adverts

Changes to the company's terms and services opens the possibility of 'social' advertising

Author Tom Clancy has died, aged 66

Tom Clancy: Bestselling author of The Hunt for Red October dead from undisclosed causes aged 66

Writer was a canny businessman who managed to turn himself into a brand, spawning successful film and video game franchises

US Government shutdown: What does it mean? And what are the papers saying?

A partial shutdown of the US government has begun after the two houses of Congress failed to agree a budget last night, with the Republican-led House of Representatives adamant they would only agree to a deal if it included a delay to the start of Obamacare, the President’s package of health reforms.

IPCC report increases certainty humans are to blame for climate change. This is what you can do about it....

Right, so, it might not be exactly YOUR FAULT, but it's not entirely not your fault either. The IPCC climate change report, released today in Stockholm, has upped the certainty that man is the dominant cause of climate change to 95 per cent. Pretty certain, overall. And unless you happen to be an ape blessed with extraordinary powers of literacy, the fact that you're understanding this sentence implicates you in the whole heating mess. So here are ten Dos and Don'ts you can follow to cook the planet an infinitesimally smaller amount...

A woman views the Chinese social media website Weibo at a cafe in Beijing

‘Great Firewall of China’ closes for business in financial district: Government lifts Shanghai ban on Facebook and Twitter to make foreign investors 'feel at home'

Banned websites including the New York Times will only be available in specially designated economic zone

Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad are Romeo and Juliet

Orlando Bloom earns mixed reviews for his Broadway debut in Romeo and Juliet

New York critics split on the Lord of the Rings star's performance in David Leveaux's production of the Shakespeare classic

The Sports City stadium is pictured in this artists impression

Fifa medical chief issues warning over summer World Cup in Qatar

The 2022 tournament is expected to be moved to winter

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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 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future