Environment

Critics like to cite research showing the rise in the world’s average surface temperatures has slowed down since 1998. But is it true?

A worker is scanned for radiation as he enters the emergency operation centre

One year on, Japan is still feeling the heat

David McNeill reports from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant

Members of the media wear protective suits asthey are shown around by Tepco staff

Fukushima: Return to the disaster zone

A year since the Fukushima nuclear plant was destroyed, the fight to prevent disaster goes on. In an exclusive dispatch from the reactors, David McNeill becomes the first European journalist to revisit Japan's ground zero

Mohawk to be first Native American saint

Kateri Tekakwitha, a 17th-century Mohawk Indian woman who died aged 24, after professing her vows of virginity, is to be the first Native American saint. She is among seven canonisations set for October, the Vatican said yesterday.

BT profits soar despite a dip in revenues

BT shares yesterday rose 4 per cent to a three-and-a-half-year high as the telecoms giant boosted profits, despite another dip in revenues and some renewed concern over its pension liabilities.

Pattaya, Thailand

Great Getaways: This Week's Deals - Thailand, South Africa, Venice and Cornwall

Thailand

Thomas Cook Signature has an eight-night break at the beach resort of Pattaya, on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand, for £729 per person.

The time jump means that Samoa's 186,000 citizens, and the 1,500 in the three-atoll United Nations dependency of Tokelau, will now be the first in the world to ring in the new year, rather than the last.

Samoans celebrate skipping Friday

Sirens wailed and fireworks exploded over Samoa as the tiny South Pacific nation jumped forward in time, crossing westward over the international date line and effectively erasing Friday, 30 December, 2011, from the country's calendar.

Three people killed in shipwreck off Russia's east coast

Rescue vessels and a helicopter are searching for five people missing in a fierce storm off Russia's east coast after a Cambodia-flagged ship sank this morning.

Rescue teams recovered six bodies from the Sea of Okhotsk where the floating oil rig capsized

Deathtoll from Russian oil rig accident rises

The deathtoll from Sunday's oil rig accident off Russia's east coast has risen to 17 people.

Hopes fade for survivors of rig disaster

Rescuers said yesterday it would be a miracle if they found anyone else alive after a drilling rig sank with 67 people on board in the icy seas off Russia's eastern coast.

Revealed: climate quirk that doubles risk of war

New study shows stark correlation between the fluctuations of El Niño and the incidence of civil conflicts

Sun, sea – and stick-up: Pacific island Aitutaki in shock after its first ever bank heist

The pace of life is languid, to say the least, on Aitutaki, an idyllic coral atoll in the South Pacific. Described as "the world's most beautiful island" by Tony Wheeler, the Lonely Planet co-founder, it is also extremely devout, with more than 20 churches for a population of fewer than 2,000.

Video: US-China aircraft carrier 'face off'

China and the US have been flexing their military muscle, showing off their aircraft carriers in the South China Sea.

Indonesian volcano erupts twice in half an hour

A volatile volcano in central Indonesia has erupted again, spewing ash almost 2,000ft (600m) into the air.

Has the mystery of Easter Island finally been solved?

New book challenges accepted wisdom about demise of the indigenous civilisation

Branson's latest stunt? To plunge new depths...

His past endeavours include space tourism and attempts to circumnavigate the world in a hot air balloon.

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Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
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British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
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David Silva strokes home his and City's second goal
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas