News

Scientists observed snakes "slithering" through the air to stay aloft

In the realm of the snake god...and the coati

When it comes to waterfalls, Niagara's nowhere. Adrian Mourby sees a natural wonder up close

Tamasin Day-Lewis: 'My children say I gave them wooden spoons instead of toys'

My earliest food memory... Eating what's now known as French toast but what we called bread bits in egg. It's the best breakfast food, the best brunch food and the best teatime food if you're a child. It's the only thing my nanny could cook, so I probably lived on it.

Ai Weiwei, Somerset House/Lisson Gallery, London

Ai Weiwei, the most important contemporary Chinese artist and political activist of his generation, has been missing since he was detained by authorities in Beijing while boarding a flight to Hong Kong on 3 April, and has not been seen or heard of since. And so, he has been missing from the openings of two exhibitions of his work opening in London this week.

13 Assassins, Takashi Miike, 126 mins (15)

A blackly mischievous samurai study revels in spectacular slaughter but strikes a sombre note amid the bloodshed

At large in Thailand: Trunk callers

The setting is stunning, the spas superb, the Thai cuisine tasty – but the elephants are what make this the perfect family holiday

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: We're overcoming a poisonous prejudice

Deep in our tissues lurks a forgotten emotion, forgotten because most of us no longer need it. It is a terrified fascination with our predators – animals whose prey we might be. It is clearly an ancient emotion, and it is clearly potent, and its existence was brilliantly illuminated and tapped into by Steven Spielberg when he directed Jaws in 1975 – creating at the age of 29 what was then the most profitable movie ever made.

Snake oil of skin saviour?

It’s the beauty industry’s latest secret ingredient, found in face creams, serums – and even on menus. But collagen isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, says Genevieve Roberts

The Hacker: Peter brings home bacon but gets grilled for telling porkies

To be accused of being a pot-hunter in our winter league attracts much scorn and I am afraid such an allegation raised a heated debate in the bar last Sunday lunchtime.

Flooded Australian city faces long wait to dry out

Australia put an army general in charge of flood recovery efforts today after weeks of heavy rains deluged the country's northeast, crippling the area's economy, including the coal mining industry.

Flood victims warned of risk from snakes and crocodiles

Residents of a flood-hit Australian city were warned yesterday not to wade through the waist-high waters because of fears that crocodiles and snakes could be lurking.

The Gruffalo, Garrick Theatre, London

In the 10 years since it was published, The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson (story) and Axel Scheffler (pictures) has become a much-loved classic, proving that big furry creatures who roar can be kind at heart, and a mouse may look at a monster, just as a cat may look at a king.

Picture of the Day: The bride wore snakeskin

Hundreds of villagers flocked to a wedding ceremony yesterday between a 16-foot female python and her slightly smaller mate – both believed to be magic snakes that bring prosperity and peace.

Emergency airlifts for flooded Queensland

A huge relief operation was under way in Queensland last night as the military airlifted emergency supplies of food and medicine to thousands of people hit by widespread flooding.

The fearless woman who's lucky to be alive

A woman who knows no fear because of damage to a key emotion centre in her brain is lucky to be alive, scientists said today.

Snake bites Lembit Opik on Celebrity challenge

Former MP Lembit Opik has been bitten by a snake while enduring the latest I'm A Celebrity challenge.

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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
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
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project