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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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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
War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?