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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn