Travel
 

This millennium, Britain’s dragonfly contingent has been in the throes of revolution. Several sparkling species have crossed the sea to start colonising the UK. In this ambitious itinerary, you might see up to seven magnificent dragonflies unknown in Britain two decades previously.

The restoration game: Crossways in leafy Hanwell, west London, has failed to sell at auction and may continue to lie derelict

Property news roundup: Why do tenants rent?

Plus Six Nations property breakdown, empty homes, homelessness, and rents in UK cities

New York plans to cull wild mute swans

The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

Face facts: ‘Easter Island: Mysteries of a Lost World’ with Dr Jago Cooper

Easter Island: Mysteries of a Lost World, TV review: Archaeologist digs deep to prove that a lost tribe can hold their heads up high

When most of us think of Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, we think of moai, the 887 magnificent statues that guard its shores. But the mystery of BBC4's Easter Island: Mysteries of a Lost World wasn't how these monoliths were made, or how they were moved into place (aliens, obviously) or even whether the ancient Rapa Nui people were responsible for their own decline, it's why the myths have persisted for so long.

A statue depicting a Neanderthal. Scientists have discovered that Neanderthal genes passed on to modern humans could affect our likelihood of developing auto-immune diseases.

Neanderthal genes linked to diseases in modern day humans including type two diabetes

The likelihood of people developing diseases including type two diabetes and Crohn's could be affected by genes inherited from Neanderthals

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Data reveals six NHS trusts with 'persistently' high death rates

Six NHS trusts have “persistently” high death rates for patients who die in hospital or within 30 days of discharge, according to new data.

French schools battle boycott after hoax text messages warn of 'masturbation classes'

Almost half the pupils from some French primary schools were absent from class after the text messages were sent

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon (centre) welcomes delegates hoping to bring an end to Syria’s civil war to the Montreux Palace Hotel in Switzerland

Geneva talks: Give Syrians a voice

The peace talks are offering a way out of a vicious cycle, and it is one of the very few hopes for the vast majority of Syrians who reject extremism

Illnesses are good for GDP with the money drug companies and health institutions are paid to come up with new treatments

Guy Hands: No matter what the politicians say, GDP is a distorted guide to economic performance – and a bad way to measure prosperity

When running a business, you learn that nothing matters more than setting the correct objectives and making sure you keep a very close eye on the balance sheet.

The Magical Teapot, Linthill Studio, Lilliesleaf, Melrose, Scottish Borders TD6. Guide price £10,000. On with Rettie.

Property news roundup: 18% premium on properties in National Parks

Plus exchange-to-completion times, 'Granlords', and a detached teapot

Sir David Attenborough: 'I promised I would do something'

Cut childcare costs by having fewer children, says Population Matters

It's a theory that hasn't been proposed by politicians yet

This 1348 painting shows how plague devastated European cities like Florence

The Black Death: Plague that killed millions is able to rise from the dead

Black rats are also implicated in both outbreaks, which took place 800 years apart

What the Pope's green manifesto should say...
1. Introduce an international carbon tax

Francis has already used the symbolic power of his office to change attitudes

elephants in rain

Good fences make good neighbours in Kenya

Protecting habitat and engaging the local community are crucial for both rhinos and elephants, says Christian Lambrechts, the managing director of Rhino Ark

Saltwater crocodiles can weigh up to a ton

Search continues for Australian boy snatched by crocodiles

Australian police have shot dead two crocodiles after a 12-year-old boy's disappearance

Families, who had fled their homes due to fighting, return to their houses in the Barzeh neighbourhood of Damascus

Syrians return to their badly damaged homes as ceasefire makes streets safe again

For the first time in the Syrian civil war a ceasefire agreement in a Damascus district sees rebel fighters keep their weapons and control of their own neighbourhood in return for an end to the fighting. If repeated in other parts of Syria, such agreements have the potential to de-escalate violence that has left 130,000 Syrians dead.

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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable