News

Tests have confirmed 20 people died after contracting the disease on the island

Your Questions: How can we catch our hamster if he escapes?

Q. My daughter was given a hamster for Christmas that she adores, but she was handling him and he slipped out of her grasp. Luckily, he was not injured and she managed to grab him before he made a dash for it. If she's not so lucky next time, how can we catch him? Julliene, via e-mail

Haskell pounces in front of princes as England open up

England 30 Wales 17: Welsh errors give Johnson's men chance to hit the ground running

Hit & Run: The zero-gravity zoo

As Iran's dispute with the US over its nuclear programme rumbles on, the Iranians have chalked up at least one psychological victory over their superpower rivals: yesterday the Tehran administration announced the successful launch of a Kavoshgar-3 missile into space, just days after Barack Obama confirmed the curtailment of Nasa's ambitions to return men to the Moon.

Pandora: Publisher pursues Morrissey by fan mail

Hard times in the book world? The publishing director of Faber and Faber appears to be going to new lengths to land That Next Big Title.

Aloud and proud: The new Performance Poetry

Performance poetry conjures up images of po-faced writers declaiming depressing verse. Could a young collective bring some humour to the spoken word? Holly Williams takes a masterclass

Terence Blacker: To the Lord Howe rat I take off my hat

If ever there were a place on earth which proves that natural conservation requires human ruthlessness, it is the small, apparently perfect Lord Howe Island, off the east coast of Australia.

42 tons of poison to purge island of rats

Desperate measure to save Lord Howe Island's native species

Hamsters: better
late than never?

As this year’s Christmas must-have, the Go Go Hamster has had a rollercoaster ride.

Terence Blacker: In cyberspace, I can hear the addicts scream

Here is the latest news from Planet Bonkers: in order to encourage children to become involved in the 2012 Olympics, a computer simulation of running round a track is being sent to schools. The ultimate in sport for all (it is so inclusive that children will not even have to move off their obese behinds in order to take part), the game is being presented as an educational opportunity. "Offering pupils the chance to run in a 'virtual' stadium will help fire up their imaginations, and hopefully inspire children to greater things," one local councillor in East Anglia has said.

Meet Hobbie-J, the smartest rat in the world

A rat is impressing American scientists with her extraordinary intellect.

Conservationists fight for 'Galapagos of plants'

Leading conservationists have drawn up a blueprint to save one of the world's most important sites for conservation known as the "Galapagos for plants" because of its exceptionally rare native plants.

Why Robinson Crusoe island is at risk

Bursting with endemic flora and fauna, the Juan Fernández Archipelago is a hothouse of evolution. But alien species introduced by humans are now threatening this remote 'Galápagos of plants'. Science editor Steve Connor reports

Hit & Run: Holding out for a hamster

I'm in the toy department of Boots on High Street Kensington and I'm holding a picture of a robotic hamster. "Do you have this?" I shout at a sales assistant. "I must have this. There are only 46 days left until Christmas," I explain desperately.

The city that looks and smells like a landfill site

A Slice of Britain: Take one council, cut the pay of its binmen, then sit back and watch the rubbish pile up

Your Questions: Is it ok to house a rabbit and a chinchilla together?

Q. My boyfriend and I are thinking about moving in together. He has a rabbit and I have a chinchilla. All the places we've seen are quite small so to save on space we're thinking about housing them together. Would that be all right? Sharon, via e-mail

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea