Stress reduces the likelihood of getting pregnant, study finds

Living life to a tight deadline, juggling appointments and rushing from place to place may harm a woman's chances of becoming pregnant.

Ofcom to examine regional media ownership

The communications regulator has been asked to consider the effects of further relaxation of regional media ownership rules, it announced today.

Minor British Institutions: Alternative comedy

The thing about alternative comedy is that it isn't very alternative any more. Like "New" Labour, time has rendered the adjective redundant, and the nation awaits the alternative to alternative comedy. Maybe comics will go back to wearing dinner suits with frilly shirts and cracking mother-in-law gags.

Leading article: A welcome breakdown

Under normal circumstances, the breakdown of an international meeting would be a cause for disappointment; but not in the case of the International Whaling Commission. After two days of discussions in Morocco, the gathering has been brought to an end because the delegates of 88 nations were unable to reach agreement. The draft deal under discussion would have lifted the 24-year-old ban on commercial whaling. Iceland, Japan and Norway would have been granted an annual catch quota.

700 groups sign up to run new 'free' schools

Parents would be able to set up schools in homes or local empty office blocks under plans unveiled by the Government yesterday.

Professor David Furley: Celebrated scholar of Greco-Roman philosophy

David Furley was one of the 20th century's outstanding scholars of Greco-Roman philosophy. The quantity of Furley's published output is perhaps modest by today's standards. But virtually every item is a gem, and many have become classics.

Hot desks: The coolest office spaces in the world

Igloos, bean bags, quad-bike tracks and Olympic-sized swimming pools: don't you wish you worked in offices like these?

Party leaders reveal relaxation secrets ahead of TV debates

The party leaders revealed their relaxation secrets today, with Gordon Brown confessing to trying Pilates, David Cameron growing his own vegetables and Nick Clegg sneaking into the garden for a quick smoke.

Ofcom calls for end to ITV ad 'straitjacket'

Ofcom, the communications watchdog, has called for the controversial rules governing ITV's advertising to be torn up following a rise of competition in the industry.

Album: Barb Jungr, The Men I Love (Naim)

After the tightly-focused spotlight on the late Nina Simone's repertoire that was Just Like A Woman, Barb Jungr returns to her wide-ranging selections from The Great American Songbook with The Men I Love.

Pet Of The Week: The Papillon

The Big Six: Indulgent British spas

From a five-star 1920s country pile in Scotland to a countryside retreat complete with 'spa butlers' and an igloo...

Travel challenge: A Thai beach holiday

Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for a specified holiday. Today: a 10-night beach holiday in Thailand. Prices are for two people, departing at the end of February and include flights from Heathrow, accommodation and transfers.

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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
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
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