Travel
 

This millennium, Britain’s dragonfly contingent has been in the throes of revolution. Several sparkling species have crossed the sea to start colonising the UK. In this ambitious itinerary, you might see up to seven magnificent dragonflies unknown in Britain two decades previously.

The former Liberal Democrat party leader Paddy Ashdown said he was 'very upset' after being involved in a fatal three-vehicle collision

Paddy Ashdown car crash: Former Lib Dem leader involved in accident which killed a 49-year-old man

Lord Ashdown said he was left ‘very upset’ after being involved in fatal incident

Syrian President Bashar Assad visits army and security soldiers wounded in the civil war at al-Youssef al-Azmah Hospital in Damascus

Syria conflict: Hospitals fill up with wounded soldiers as civil war drags on

Fighting in the country is now thought to have claimed 130,000 lives. But what about those who lived, yet suffered life-changing injuries? Patrick Cockburn meets some of those survivors in Damascus

Beak season: Pink-footed geese are found inland

Wildlife Weekend: Wintering birds in the Kingdom of Fife

Spend most of the first day in Largo Bay, south-west of Kirkcaldy. There may be no finer location to watch the wintering seaduck for which Scotland is renowned. If the tide is high and the sun shining, start with the light behind you at the bay’s eastern edge, Ruddon’s Point. Look westwards for dense black rafts of scoters, mainly common scoter. A flash of white wings draws your attention to velvet scoters secreted among them. Check the flock carefully and you could even see surf scoter. There is no more regular British site for this North American visitor.

Taxi firm in Middlesbrough attacked for refusing to carry disabled passengers

Owner of largest firm in the North East of England concedes move is 'morally wrong' but he says had no choice but to act after local authority warns operators over charging disabled passengers extra

Voices in Danger: For putting on a play, Carlos Santos was tortured by an El Salvador death squad

“I still have the scars on my hands from when I was hung from the roof”

High-end burger restaurants such as the Garage Grill in Tehran have enjoyed huge success in recent months

Nothing quite like a McAli’s burger... Iran’s foodies opt for taste of America with a glut of high-end grill restaurants in Tehran

Upmarket grills adorned with Americana are proving a hit in wealthy areas, finds Jason Rezaian in Tehran

A Cuban attempts to repair his old car in Havana on the day the free sale of cars in Cuba was officially authorized.

Cubans allowed to buy new and used cars - but at hugely inflated prices

Buyers are faced with a 400 per cent mark-up

A Sunni Muslim fighter looks at a burning police vehicle during clashes in Ramadi

Iraqis battle al-Qa'ida militant uprising in Ramadi and Fallujah

Iraqi security forces and allied tribesmen battled on Thursday to put down al-Qa'ida-linked gunmen who, in a coordinated surge, ran rampant in two of the country's main Sunni cities, overrunning police stations and sweeping through the streets, emboldened by mounting sectarian tensions between minority Sunnis and the Shiite-led government.

A holiday with sparkle: Get into the festive spirit with a visit to Europe's finest spots for fizz

It's easier than ever to cut straight to the source of Europe's wine regions

Ethan Couch from Texas has been sentenced to ten years probation after mowing down four pedestrians while drunk

Ethan Couch: Texas quadruple murderer – or a victim of ‘affluenza’?

Texan teen given parole after mowing down four people while drunk – but his family is so wealthy he believed his actions had no consequences

Sean Emmett with Abbie before tragedy struck

Superbike racer arrested on UK return after wife died in Dubai

Sean Emmett had been unable to leave the United Arab Emirates for 10 months as police had confiscated his passport following the death of his wife, who fell several floors from a hotel

Peter Higgs is to be honoured with a new £11m space technology centre named after him

Autumn Statement 2013: New space technology centre to be named after Peter Higgs, the father of the 'God particle'

Chancellor announces new £11m 'Higgs Centre for Innovation'

Cobalt-60 theft: Lorry transporting radioactive cargo found EMPTY in Mexico, but hijackers expected to die within days

Radiation levels could be so intense that criminals only have days to live

Autumn Statement 2013: Car tax disc scrapped after 93 years

For more than 90 years, all vehicles on British roads have been required to display a tax disc.

Paul Walker death: Star of Fast & Furious films killed in Los Angeles car crash

The other victim of the crash was professional race car driver Roger Rodas

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?