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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.

Activists claim Syria bombing killed 54 people

An activist group says a bombing of a military factory in central Syria this week has killed 54 people.

Yet Another Armageddon? Five Ways to Prepare Yourself for the Impending Solar Superstorm

We've only just wiped the sweat from our brow following the averted Mayan apocalypse, but already news is spreading of another impending doom; and this one even has actual science behind it.

According to a group of experts at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London, a solar superstorm - caused by the Sun ejecting billions of tonnes of highly-energetic matter travelling at a million miles an hour - is not only inevitable - but coming soon. "The two challenges for government are the wide spectrum of technologies affected today and the emergence of unexpected vulnerabilities as technology evolves," says Professor Paul Cannon. So let's prepare...

Eight killed and many injured in tourist bus crash in California

At least eight people were killed and 38 injured when a tourist bus careened out of control down a California mountain road, struck a car, flipped over and hit a pickup truck, authorities said.

Eight killed in California bus crash

Eight people were killed on a California highway early today in a crash involving a tour bus and two other vehicles.

Eddie Ray Routh is a suspect in the shooting and killing of former Navy SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle, who wrote

Man charged with shooting top US Navy sniper at gun range

Ex-soldier suspected of the murder of the Navy Seal, author of American Sniper, and another man

'Most lethal sniper in US history': Chris Kyle shot dead on Texas gun range

Former Navy SEAL had a bounty put on his head by Iraqi insurgents, who dubbed him 'The Devil of Ramadi'

US bus siege: Police in stand-off with hostage gunman in Alabama

Police swat teams and hostage negotiators were locked in a stand-off today with a gunman authorities say intercepted a school bus, killed the driver, snatched a six-year-old boy and retreated into a bunker at his home in Alabama.

Silk top £245 and silk trousers £325, zoe-jordan.com

Fast track to fashion

The daughter of a racing driver, Zoë Jordan draws on a childhood of travel for her eponymous line, says Rebecca Gonsalves

French soldiers flying back from Timbuktu, arrive at the French army base in Sevare, Mali, last night

Recaptured by moonlight, the fabled desert city where Islamists burned books in a bitter farewell

The recapture of Timbuktu was done by moonlight. More than 250 French troops parachuted down to the northern entrance of the fabled desert city, while an armoured column sealed the southern exit.

Husband and wife riding tandem bicycle killed in Bristol hit-and-run accident

Two cyclists who were killed in an alleged hit-and-run incident near Bristol have been named as a married couple.

10 killed in roadside blast in Afghanistan

A police truck packed with officers and detainees struck a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan's largest city, killing 10 of those aboard, officials said today.

Review: Rubbernecker, By Belinda Bauer

The curious case of the talking dead

Five-Minute Memoir: William Nicholson recalls being driven over the edge by a white van

This is a tale of suffering, redemption and white vans. Late last year I needed to transport some furniture from our house in Sussex to my son's rooms in central London. I should have paid a man to do it for me, but foolishly confident in my driving ability, I decided to hire a van and drive it myself. It was a white Ford Transit 280 panel van, which if you've ever driven you'll know presents special challenges to the driver. It's long and wide and you can't see out of the back. You never really know how close you are to anything else on the road. Turning corners brings with it new surprises every time. Overtaking becomes an act of reckless abandon.

Earl of Cardigan acquitted of assault

A Wiltshire aristocrat has been acquitted of assaulting one of his family estate's trustees.

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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 15 May 2015
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones