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

thursday's book; Lucky You by Carl Hiaasen (Macmillan, pounds 16.99)

If you start your career with a couple of books as alarmingly funny and original as Hiaasen's first Florida black comedies, Tourist Season and Double Whammy, it's an unfortunate fact that, after a while, people are going to start complaining that you're repeating yourself. With that in mind, perhaps the easiest thing here would be to write two separate reviews. The first should be marked "for new readers only" and it should commend the pace, outrageous characterisation, surreal humour and political bite that leaps off every page of Lucky You, a caper woven around the adventures of two winning tickets from the Florida state lottery.

Remote island home of spies and turtles opens its doors to tourists

A new holiday destination has arrived on the map: Ascension Island, formerly one of the Cold War's most secret and remote outposts.

Science: Tell me about ... how we age

From the moment the human sperm mingles with the egg, the cells there can divide 100 times over. But eventually, even if we aren't hit by a bus or fall ill, everyone dies. Last Friday, a team of American scientists announced that they had found a way to make human cells in a test tube divide about another 20 times, the equivalent of living roughly one-fifth longer.

Now Britain gets its own monster from the deep

The big, amorphous blob which caused such a stir when it was washed up on a Tasmanian beach turned out to be whale blubber. Now a genuine, entire monster of the deep has come ashore on the Suffolk coastline. And there is no doubting what it is - a quarter of a tonne of very recently deceased leatherback turtle, measuring more than two metres from nose to tail.

Greeks turn turtle

Restaurants specialising in turtle soup may have do do without their main ingredient after Greek forestry officials freed 423 restaurant- bound tortoises near the northern city of Salonica.

The heat is on and terrapins are going wild

There are constant warnings about the dangers posed to the environment by global warming. But one danger that seems to have been overlooked until now is the threat of a terrapin population explosion.

Fringe: One-man Show: Critical Mass

EDINBURGH FESTIVAL 97

MAKING TRACKS

Satellite technology, originally developed to plot the activities of potential enemies, is now being used to monitor various migrating animals. SATELLITE TECHNOLOGY HAS ALSO BROUGHT AN UNEXPECTED FINDING: MORE THAN HALF OF THE TURTLES' TRANSMITTERS WERE DESTROYED BY VIGOROUS LOVE-MAKING

Tourism threatens turtle population

Tourists jetting off in search of unspoilt beaches may be unwittingly playing a part in the demise of the turtle. The World Society for the Protection of Animals claims the turtles' habitats on tropical beaches are being destroyed by coastal development.

Cornish sea turtles under threat

ENVIRONMENT

Are you thinking too much?

Take it easy. It could be the fastest way to the really intelligent answer

LETTER : Tortoise and hare

Sir: Your supplement on primary school league tables was illuminating. Who would have thought that among Bolton schools, Top-of-the-Brow would have been beaten by Plodder Lane?

Angry MPs come out of their shells

An alliance of 33 tortoise-loving MPs has protested to the Swedish authorities after they froze 1,000 illegally imported specimens to death. The animals were destroyed despite offers from both the British-based Tortoise Trust and the SAS airline to cover the cost of returning them to Tadjikistan.

Science: Save the Earth - eat a turtle

Edward O Wilson is not your usual scientist. On the question of biodiversity, he's more pragmatist than preacher. Hugh Aldersley-Williams explains

Letters: Bad vibes on ultrasound

Sir: I sit down for a moment's quiet read, feeling exhausted, sick and 19 weeks pregnant, after a morning running around after my 16- month tornado. Tomorrow I'm off for my ultrasound scan - modern technology with no side-effects - and what am I faced with in today's Independent (13 August)? An expose on the safety of ultrasound scans.
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Day In a Page

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
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star