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?

New El Niño threatens world with weather woe

Forecasters say this one is brewing up to be the second-strongest on record

Five luxury escapes in Polynesia

Astonishing beauty comes as standard at these island lodgings.

Trail Of The Unexpected: Christmas card

From Lent (the Netherlands) to Trinity Peninsula (Antarctica) via Jesus Island (Quebec), Christianity can take you around the world – to islands where it is Christmas every day: one in the Pacific Ocean, the other in the Indian Ocean.

Michael McCarthy: Enjoy cold winters while they last

Nature Notebook

Pitcairn abuse victims can claim UK compensation

Victims of child sex abuse on Pitcairn Island will be able to apply for compensation, the Foreign Office said today.

Michael McCarthy: Another summer of sodden misery. Is it bad luck – or worse?

It's getting wearisomely familiar, isn't it? Last summer's toll of sodden misery is with us again as people are flooded out of their homes from one end of the land to the other and, for the second year running, a famous medieval abbey is an island. You could be forgiven for thinking, is this really all just coincidence?

Robinson seeking a ruthless streak

The Edinburgh coach Andy Robinson yesterday looked back on last season's encounters with Munster with mixed emotions – his side had the European champions in trouble in both matches, which is something to be proud of, but lost twice, which is not. The clubs meet again in the new Magners League season at Murrayfield tomorrow and Robinson is desperate for similar effort from his players but different results.

Dylan Jones: I have been having a lot of acupuncture

If you ask me: 'I'm used to lying in small dark rooms as men and women work their magic'

The last king of Tonga?

Tongans have traditionally worshipped their kings. But the incumbent's subjects are increasingly disaffected – and revolution is in the air. Kathy Marks reports

Album: Dennis Wilson, Pacific Ocean Blue (Sony BMG)

His fellow Beach Boys were shocked when, in 1977, their feckless drummer boy became the first Wilson brother to release a solo album: shocked not just that he had found time in his tomcat-hedonist schedule to write and record it, but that it should be so darn good.

A party fit for a king – but not needy Tonga

It will be the party of the century when George Tupou V is crowned King of Tonga in August – and it will be his impoverished countrymen in the tiny South Pacific nation who will bear the expense.

New GSK boss reshuffles his top teams

GlaxoSmithKline's incoming chief executive Andrew Witty took the first step to stamp his authority on the top level of management yesterday by reshuffling the group's senior team.Mr Witty, who takes over from Jean-Pierre Garnier on 22 May, announced the creation of new regional divisions, particularly in the emerging markets, which, he said, "contribute close to 25 per cent of today's market growth".

Threat of development casts a shadow over Hollywood mountain

The Hollywood sign may be the closest thing Los Angeles has to a signature landmark but now the mountaintop directly above the 50ft-high white letters faces the prospect of a multi-million dollar property development that is causing consternation among civic leaders and city residents.

Middlesbrough to go for Curbishley if O'Neill declines

The Middlesbrough chairman, Steve Gibson, will target Alan Curbishley as his new manager if Martin O'Neill turns down the job.

Days Out: London Aquarium

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Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests