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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