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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before