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 life expectancy of baby girls born in some parts of England has exceeded 100 years for the first time

UK girls’ life expectancy ‘greater than 100 years for first time’

Children born in one northern town can reportedly expect – on average – to live to 105

Saltwater crocodile numbers in Australia have shot up since the species was protected by federal law in 1971

Boy feared taken and another wounded by crocodile attack in northern Australia tourist attraction

Group of friends were swimming at an isolated water hole in World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park southeast of Darwin

Catholics are more likely to vote Labour while Church of England worshippers vote Conservative, claims new research

Catholics are more likely to vote Labour while Church of England worshippers most consistently back the Conservatives, according to new research.

A male Asiatic lion guarding his cub at London Zoo

London Zoo to increase pride of Asiatic lions and fund conservation work in India to save dwindling wild population

To most of us, lions are African, but many of the great beasts of legend were Indian. Now a zoo plans to breed more of them

Supply and demand: White rhinos at the Entabeni Safari Conservancy, Limpopo, South Africa

Protesters lock horns with China over ivory as campaigners look into buyers

Gone are the days when a “Save the Rhino” advert was enough. Only about 25,000 rhinos are left in the wild, and thanks to poaching the species is critically endangered. Now, in an effort to drive down demand, conservationists are working on campaigns to understand what makes rhino horn consumers tick.

Beak season: Pink-footed geese are found inland

Wildlife Weekend: Wintering birds in the Kingdom of Fife

Spend most of the first day in Largo Bay, south-west of Kirkcaldy. There may be no finer location to watch the wintering seaduck for which Scotland is renowned. If the tide is high and the sun shining, start with the light behind you at the bay’s eastern edge, Ruddon’s Point. Look westwards for dense black rafts of scoters, mainly common scoter. A flash of white wings draws your attention to velvet scoters secreted among them. Check the flock carefully and you could even see surf scoter. There is no more regular British site for this North American visitor.

Protests in Vienna against the Academics' Ball

Thousands join protests in Vienna against Austrian ball for 'far-right'

Freedom Party event welcomed Marine le Pen and 'extremists'

Macmillan Cancer have warned older cancer patients are being judged 'too old' for treatment

Cancer patients written off as 'too old for treatment', charity warns

Some cancer patients are being “written off” as being too old for treatment, a charity has warned.

Scientists have discovered the world's oldest cancer, transmitted between dogs, has survived for more than 11,000 years

Scientists discover world’s oldest cancer has survived – passing from host to host – for 11,000 years

Studying the disease among dogs could allow experts to build a defence if human cancers became transmissible

New river dolphin species discovered in Amazon for first time in 100 years

Scientists say a group living in the Araguaia River, Brazil has been isolated from other varieties for more than two million years

Pigs' faces censored in International New York Times news story

Identity of swine shrouded in secrecy

The film that stopped the ivory trade

In the late 1980s, Africa’s elephant population was decimated to just 600,000. Bringing the elephant slaughter to consumers' televisions had a profound impact. Can it be done again?

Jobbik leader Gabor Vona is coming to London this weekend to host a rally

Rise of the right: Theresa May under pressure as the leader of ultra-nationalist Hungarian party Jobbik prepares UK visit

The Home Secretary is under increasing pressure from Jewish groups and others to ban the Hungarian ultra-nationalist party from spreading hatred at a London rally this weekend

Less than 40% of Gypsies and Irish travellers live in caravans

Gypies and Irish Travellers are more likely to live in a house than a caravan, data shows

Gypsies and Irish Travellers are more likely to live in a house than a caravan, the first official data on the group shows.

Space for Giants trains and employs community scouts to patrol their local area and report incidents of poaching.

Field diary: protecting elephants on the ground

Our weekly field diary gives you an insight into the day-to-day work of Space for Giants scouts,  working in Laikipia, Kenya to save elephants.

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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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
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Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?