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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.

Brad Haddin and Matt Prior have words at stumps in Adelaide on Sunday

Ashes 2013-14: Joe Root keeps smiling through heat of the sledging battle

No one is saying what is being said out in the middle as the Ashes sledging war rages. Safe to assume that the players are not asking for addresses to send Christmas cards.

Plans to raise the basic state pension age to 70 for people currently in their twenties were laid out in the George Osborne's Autumn Statement

Britain's poor 'will die before they retire' if pension reforms aren't matched by health improvements

Stark disparity in healthy life expectancy ‘must be tackled’ for pension age  to be raised fairly

Number of people over the age of 85 in England and Wales up by 25%

The number of the nation's “oldest old” has increased by nearly a quarter in the last decade, figures show.

How to clean up this dogs' mess we're in

According to The Dogs' Trust, fouling in public places is on the rise

‘Detainees are made to dig their own graves’: Former guard speaks out as satellite images show North Korean gulags are growing

Amnesty International report reveals female political prisoners are raped and then made to ‘disappear’

George Osborne said in June that the savings from delaying the state pension age were 'absolutely enormous'

Autumn Statement 2013: Work until you’re 70 - George Osborne accused of ‘living in fantasy land’ over pension reforms

Changes mean anyone born after 1990 faces five years’ extra work - but measures could save £400bn over the next 50 years and reflect rising life expectancy

Three introduces free roaming in US, confirms free 4G upgrade for customers this December

The mobile network will be the only carrier to offer the upgrade to the new high-speed mobile network for no extra charge

Despite being home to half the world's pigs – and the largest consumers of pork in the world - the authorities in Beijing are concerned about the quality of their stock

Britain to export pig semen to China in £45m trade deal

Plan is for UK boars to improve Chinese pigs' genetic make-up

Disabled children and their families form a human chain organised by Disability Activists Forum demanding their rights from the Bengal Government, during the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Calcutta, India

In pictures: International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is marked on 3 December every year, with this year's them 'Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all'.

Britain – the most charitable developed nation in the world

More than three quarters of Britons give to good causes in a typical month

Down and out in San Juan – the jobless rate in Puerto Rico is at 15 per cent, while government debts amount to $43bn

Puerto Ricans on the move as island economy goes for broke

The US territory is struggling with massive debts and residents are fleeing eight years of recession

The incident happened in a Reykjavík suburb

Man shot dead in first ever fatal police shooting in Iceland

The island nation has such a low crime rate officers rarely have to draw their weapons

Café Strauss

Postcard from... Berlin

The team from HMS Illustrious brings building supplies ashore

Typhoon Haiyan: Hard-hit school rebuilt by British Navy in three days

With children taken care of, parents can get on with work on new homes

A small charity needs all the help it can get in protecting Africa’s elephants

Over the last five years poaching has exploded, driven by the booming demand for ivory

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Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
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people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
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Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
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Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum