News Tom Hanks in the 2000 film Castaway

In a story similar to the plot of the film Castaway starring Tom Hanks, Jose Ivan was found on the atoll having floated 8,000 miles from Mexico

The plastic found in a single turtle's stomach

Hundreds of shards reveal the threat to wildlife from debris floating in our seas

Mission to save the rare turtle of Vietnamese myth and legend

A rescue operation is underway to catch and treat a rare and ailing Vietnamese turtle that is revered as a powerful symbol of the nation's independence struggle.

Tom Hodgkinson: 'Our gerbil had some kind of death wish'

The problem with pets is that they die. Many years ago in The Idler magazine, we ran a column called "Pet Deaths". We invited our readers to send in stories of childhood trauma related to their fluffy animals. The letters poured in and never failed to be funny and touching, somehow expressing a truth about the mingled joy, passion and sadness of childhood.

Errors & Omissions: Got carried away with words and forgot to make a clear point

Rhetoric is all very well, but let's remember what we are actually saying. This is from a comment piece published on Thursday: "Mr Cameron has a thousand domestic policies and his Big Society as a binding theme. In relation to events in the Middle East he had neither a policy let alone the international equivalent of a Big Society."

Turtles now world's most threatened vertebrates

Turtles and tortoises are now the most endangered group of vertebrate animals, with more than half of their 328 species threatened with extinction, according to a new report.

Volunteer work: Doing good just got more complicated

As research budgets are cut, opportunities are increasing for volunteers. But travel firms should tread carefully, says Mark Rowe

Sport on TV: Trekkie boldly goes where no sane friends will follow him

When Ed Stafford hatched his plan to become the first person to trek the entire length of the Amazon and asked his friend Luke Collyer, an "expedition leader", to come along, he must have been excited. But after 100 days, Collyer decided to go home when it suddenly dawned on him that he wouldn't see his girlfriend for two and a half years. The fact that this eventuality had passed him by in the planning process suggests he's not the best expedition leader in the world. A trip down to Tesco sounds like the limit of his abilities.

The boys are back in town: Entourage is sharper than ever

Gerard Gilbert welcomes back the most entertaining show on television

Totem, Royal Albert Hall, London

The Royal Albert Hall proves to be an excellent substitute for a big top as it plays host to Cirque du Soleil's now-customary January visit to London. This time the French-Canadian entertainment giant has brought Totem, its second collaboration with the Québécois wunderkind Robert Lepage, one of the world's greatest theatre-makers.

Leading article: Britain plays tortoise to Europe's hare

The Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt – and, yes, that may be easier to write than to say on a Monday morning on Radio 4 – has outlined plans for every region of Britain to have access to super-fast broadband within five years. He expects two thirds of the cost to be met by commercial suppliers, with a third – mostly for rural areas – coming from public funds.

The pet detectives

Dawn raids and undercover operations are all in a day's work for the police. But these officers aren't chasing robbers, they're saving animals. By Rob Sharp

Traveller's Guide: Mayan Riviera

New flights from Gatwick make Mexico's Caribbean coast more accessible than ever. Mick Webb explores the beaches, wildlife and ancient culture

Summer straw prints at Japanese label Miyake

Issey Miyake was on trend today with a spring-summer 2011 ready-to-wear show woven around pretty straw prints.

Remains of 12,000 year old banquet found

Humans were organising mass banquets to foster community spirit 12,000 years ago, scientists learned.

Humans 'partied' 12,000 years ago

Humans were organising "mass banquets" to foster community spirit 12,000 years ago, scientists believe.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform