News

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

Rats targeted in mass poisoning to save endangered birds

British scientists are to mount a £1.7m operation to save a seabird from extinction by eradicating rats from one of the world's most remote islands.

Harman says sorry for 'ginger rodent' comment

The former equalities minister Harriet Harman was forced to apologise last night for branding the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, a "ginger rodent".

Lab animals: the unseen victims of Osborne's cuts

Millions of animals used in scientific experiments in Britain face extra suffering because of cutbacks after it was revealed that the number of inspectors charged with ensuring the welfare of the 3.5 million animals experimented on in British laboratories each year could be reduced to just 16.

Fans take a bath on tickets as organisers say no to refunds

Fans who braved the atrocious weather, dodged the puddles and tried to find shelter in south Wales yesterday paid for the privilege – and they will not be receiving a refund. Despite seven and a quarter hours of play being lost to rain at Celtic Manor, organisers have said punters can expect no money back.

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: Why are some alien invasions welcomed?

Stick insects are some of the world's most curious and recognisable creatures. They provoke fascination not only for their startling resemblance to sticks or leaves, a perfect piece of evolved camouflage, but also for the sheer anorexic skinniness of many of them; perhaps there is an ancient gene in us that triggers alarm at the sight of anything preternaturally thin.

Terence Blacker: The danger in attacking Mr Brock

The government will quickly find itself in deep difficulty with a sentimental, animal-loving electorate

Winter's Bone (15)

Where the wild things are

Working for a charity is better paid than you'd think but the benefits aren't just financial

Ask anyone to describe their "best moment" at work, and you'll soon tell apart those who work in the charity sector. Kate Thomas will certainly never forget the day she arrived at work to see a woman waiting apprehensively with her son. Without warning, the woman started crying, then raced to the door and hugged a man so hard that they both fell to the ground. "Most of us didn't know what was going on until she said to the boy: 'This is your father'.

Extreme insects: Bitten by the bug?

They are among the planet's most varied and vibrant creatures, and are vital to our very survival – so why don't we love creepy-crawlies? Gillian Orr reports

Rat found in tin of baked beans

A whole rat has been found inside a tin of baked beans, it was disclosed today.

Estate alert over 'giant rats'

A councillor today said she would ask her authority to investigate reports of giant rats invading an estate.

Dirar roars home in Ebor under confident Spencer

Dual-purpose winner has too many gears for Flat rivals as Ireland claims big handicap for second year

Christina Patterson: Cameron: from gimmickry to gravitas

A prime minister should, if he is a man, be pleasant but not sexy, youthful, but not 12. The incumbent, as you'll agree, scores well on all these fronts

Business Diary: Right warning, wrong company

Confetti's customers were warned, though maybe not about the right supplier. The wedding gift company, which went into administration yesterday, continues to run a prominent advert on its website for wedding insurance. The sort of things that such a policy might cover, Confetti advises, include your caterer going bust. Strangely, there was no mention of payouts for guests who buy gifts from a wedding company that goes into administration.

Plague of rats a threat to islands' heritage status

UN tells Britain that rodents put endangered birds at risk on remote island outposts
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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
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?