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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss