Life and Style

Google Doodle celebrates the Year of the Horse

Maldives beach becomes sea of stars thanks to bioluminescent phytoplankton

Trick of nature creates spectacle

Book review: 'Ping-Pong Diplomacy', By Nicholas Griffin

Of all the subjects for a thrilling tale of espionage, war and diplomacy, ping-pong seems an unlikely contender. All the more intriguing then is the story behind a détente between America and China in 1971, which occurred seemingly out of the blue after 22 years of hostility.

Taiwanese intelligence officer Emily Mei Yeh faces long prison term in Taiwan after being refused asylum in UK

Emily Mei Yeh claims she was asked to undertake intelligence tasks she was not comfortable with

Tom Jones: Businessman

Tom Jones was chief executive of the US aerospace company Northrop for 30 years and took it to the top of its field during the Cold War while weathering a series of scandals. He took the company from a secondary aerospace subcontractor to a leading manufacturer of military aircraft, including the F-5 and F-18 fighter jets and the B-2 stealth bomber.

Giant panda bear cub Bao Bao moves around inside the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington
Xu Shuaijun's hot air balloon near the disputed islands

China-Japan tensions: Chef crashes balloon near disputed islands

The islands have caused tension between the countries for some time

Why I won't be shopping in the UK's first Veganz supermarket

The diet often becomes a fanatical and joyless one

The 'body atlas' shows where people feel certain emotions, regardless of their backgrounds, according to a new study

Racing pulse, glowing cheeks and a heavy heart: ‘Body atlas’ heatmaps reveal where we feel different emotions

Study shows how humans all feel certain emotions in specific body parts, regardless of language or location

BlackBerry has turned to Chinese manufacturer Foxconn to produce its hardware

BlackBerry looks East to revive its fortunes after posting huge loss

Five-year deal with Foxconn to target emerging markets marks clear strategic shift

The young tourist, who has not been named, was on St Kilda's pier in Melbourne when she was spotted falling into the cold water of the bay.

Status: Wet - Woman walks off a pier while checking Facebook on her phone

The young tourist was on St Kilda's pier in Melbourne when she was spotted falling into the cold water

Half a million 15-year-olds were tested in 65 countries - and we were 26th in maths and 23rd in reading

Bottom of the class: UK literacy and numeracy standards slip down international rankings

Half a million 15-year-olds were tested in 65 countries - and we were 26th in maths and 23rd in reading

The new terminal is of critical importance to the future of Shenzhen as a booming business and tourist destination, and will bring benefits to the region as a whole

Shenzhen airport Terminal Three: Vast, shiny, new - and empty? China's latest temple to aviation opens

It can handle 45 million passengers a year, 30 per cent more than Terminal Five. It cost $1bn (£612m), just one-seventh the cost of the Heathrow project. And while T5 had been 20 years in the making, the bigger Terminal 3 at  Shenzen took only five.

A Philippine Airlines jet stands on the tarmac at Manila's International airport as one of the most intense typhoons ever recorded tore into the Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan: Monster storm batters optimism over improved Manila tourism links

Philippines is profoundly vulnerable to both tropical tempests and seismic hyperactivity

RSPCA Inspector Tony Woodley holds a seven-inch-long huntsman spider, common to Australia, which was discovered in a delivery at St Leonards-on-Sea:

Stowaway! Giant fast-moving huntsman spider with a nasty bite lands in UK

The seven-inch arachnid reached East Sussex in delivery of BMX parts from Taiwan

HTC cashes in on gold trend with 18ct handset worth £2,750

Apple and Samsung have already made gold-coloured smartphones; HTC just went straight for the gold

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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 17 April 2015
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence