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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.

There are many positive lessons the Middle East could learn from Israel's treatment of its Christian population

The Israeli embassy responds to an article by Mira Bar Hillel

Masked Sunni fighters in Ramadi on Sunday following raids by government forces

Iraq needs reconciliation not American weapons to end sectarian war

The ongoing violence has claimed the lives of more than 8,000 people in 2013 - the highest annual toll since 2008

Beyoncé and Jay-Z publicly reneged on their vegan efforts in a seafood restaurant

No meat, no dairy, no problem: is 2014 the year vegans become mainstream?

As a German vegan supermarket opens its doors in Britain for the first time, veganism comes in from the cold

The NSA in Fort Meade, Maryland. The Office of Tailored Operations, whose existence is rarely acknowledged by the NSA, hacks computers around the world – harvesting data, monitoring communications and even mounting its own cyber-attacks

NSA’s top-secret cyber squad: The hackers at the Office of Tailored Operations are one of the strongest weapons in America's formidable arsenal

TAO was established in 1997 to hack into global communications systems at a time when fewer than 2 per cent of the world’s population had access to the internet

Retirement rental hotspots in England and Wales

Homeowners selling their properties in order to turn their equity into cash to boost their retirement incomes

A crowd of mainly Uighur shop at a bazaar in China's Xinjiang region

Chinese police shoot eight 'terrorists' dead in ethnically tense western region

The deaths are the latest in a string of violent outbursts where local Uighur Muslim people want greater autonomy from Beijing.

Brumbies are descendants of horses released into the wild and symbolise the romance of the outback for many Australians

To cull or not? ‘Brumby’ wild horses divide Australians

For many Australians, the brumby – or wild horse – symbolises the romance and adventure of the outback.

Chinese parents could soon have a second child

China's one-child policy to change in the new year

The Chinese government yesterday formalised its decision to amend authoritarian laws banning families from having more than one child, potentially creating an unprecedented baby boom in the world's most populated country.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing through economic policies that have been coined Abenomics

2013 has been the year of smaller companies

Firms which avoided global woes provided the best returns

2013 - the year in review: Carbon emissions, badger culls and extreme weather made for a terrible year for the environment

The climate change summit was the worst since 1992. All we got was a ‘roadmap’ to an ambitious new deal in 2015

2013 - the year in review: The year the NHS took a serious kicking

Jeremy Hunt positioned himself as a patients’ champion, shining a light on bad practice in the NHS

From left: Dave Grohl, Kurt Cobain, and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana

Washington announces Nirvana Day to celebrate the band's entry into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame

Kurt Cobain's band will be inducted in a ceremony on 10 April 2014

French soldiers protect a truck of fleeing Muslims after it broke down and was surrounded by hundreds of hostile Christian residents in the Gobongo neighborhood of Bangui - Red Cross workers said they had recovered 44 bodies from the streets of the capital in the past two days

Mass graves discovered in Central African Republic as bodies pile up in streets

The Central African Republic’s spiral into murderous anarchy continued on Friday despite efforts by French and African peacekeeers to impose a ceasefire.

UK is on course to become Europe's largest economy within two decades

UK on course to become Europe's largest economy

GDP to leapfrog Germany around 2030

One in three people have inherited a genetic variation that impairs their ability to remember faces, according to a study

Never forget a face? Scientists unlock genetics that cause autism sufferers’ memory struggles

People with the gene variant are less able to recognise faces

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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
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
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